Polling and Superstorm Sandy

Or not.

Pundits are talking about how the Superstorm that devastated the eastern seaboard states and wreaked havoc as far west as Chicago and Milwaukee, will affect national polling results as we come down to the final week before the election. A number of tracking polls suspended operations, since getting a valid national sample might be difficult at best. In fact, I would argue that getting a valid sample will be impossible for some time, given massive power outages and the challenges of recovery.  We may just have to actually wait for the election to see how the vote turns out. I would be pretty skeptical of any national poll going forward.

As for the Rutgers-Eagleton Poll and our NJ focus, we have also suspended operations. We had planned to be in the field starting today through Saturday, so we could bring you a final pre-election read on the NJ electorate on Monday. But given that the first priority around here needs to be recovery, and that answering the questions of pollsters is probably pretty low on the list of things people without power, water, and in some cases shelter need to be doing, we will not be doing a pre-election poll. We do expect to be back sometime in mid/late November with a post-election read on what NJ voters want going forward.

And of course, at this time our thoughts are with all of those affected by this storm within New Jersey and elsewhere. Our students, staff, their families, and the vendors we work with are on our minds, and we hope all are safe and sound. That’s a lot more important than our curiosity over the election horserace.

We wish everyone the best, and of course, remember to VOTE next week (or before if your state allows it.)


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