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  New GOP polling firm goal: Catch up with Dems/PPP
Parent(s) PollingFirm 
ContributorTX DEM 
Last EditedTX DEM  Dec 19, 2012 10:14am
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News DateWednesday, December 19, 2012 04:00:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionThe Republican polling community is about to get a shake-up.

With the GOP still reeling from its defeats in the 2012 election, a new Republican polling firm is seeking to help the party bounce back with a fresh stream of data on the state of the electorate.

The outfit, Harper Polling, launches this week with the goal of putting the party on parity with Democrats in the field of IVR polling — a term that stands for interactive voice response polling, commonly known as “robo-polling.”

For several cycles now, Democrats have benefited from a high-volume, relatively inexpensive flow of survey data from the company Public Policy Polling, which takes hundreds of polls in any given cycle checking up on individual races and national issue debates. Some of those surveys are released to the public, while others are conducted for private purposes by Democratic campaigns and interest groups.

More established pollsters on both sides, but particularly within the GOP, have tended to cast a skeptical gaze on IVR techniques, preferring the higher-cost method of live caller interviews. But a Fordham University study in the aftermath of the 2012 election ranked PPP as the most accurate pollster of the cycle.

It’s not as if IVR pollsters fared uniformly better in 2012. Rasmussen Reports, another robo-polling firm, ranked very low on accuracy in the Fordham study, adding to its reputation for producing results overly favorable to Republicans. For Harper Polling to play a PPP-like role, it will have to meet a higher standard for accuracy and transparency, and gain wide acceptance as a part of the Republican campaign machinery.
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