Media Alert: WPRI Junk Polling Project to Continue

Questions Remain As WPRI's Bogus Poll Information Still on UW Website

MADISON, Wis. — The controversial polling project between the conservative, pro-corporate Wisconsin Policy Research Institute (WPRI) and the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Ken Goldstein, will continue to generate suspect and manipulated polling information, according to news reports this weekend.

Goldstein confirmed in a weekend investigative story by the Associated Press that he would be continuing the discredited polling project with WPRI and will likely have two additional polls in the coming months. The university is trying to distance itself from the project, but materials promoting the poll’s results remain on the Political Science Department website, including an edited press release which originally called it a joint UW-WPRI project. The university signed a memorandum of understanding on October 1, 2009 with WPRI, but WPRI never signed the agreement, Goldstein admitted for the first time in a story published this weekend by the Associated Press.

“We deserve to know if WPRI improperly used the University of Wisconsin’s name to promote its’ bogus poll,” asked Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director. “In any event, enough questions have been raised that any polling that comes out of this operation has little credibility.”

One Wisconsin Now has raised numerous questions about the September 2009 poll’s methodology and release, including:

  • The poll asked about health care, but eliminated any question on the public option, which was the most prominent issue being discussed about health insurance reform at the time of the poll. Other polls have consistently showed overwhelming public support for a public option.
  • The poll asked about specific candidates, but failed to screen for likely voters.
  • The press release and power point showing the results specifically removed results showing statewide opposition to private school vouchers. The edits were made after WPRI head George Lightbourn expressed concern about the political ramifications in an email between him and Goldstein.
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  • “There are many unanswered questions about this project, including some raised by prominent national pollsters in the news story,” said Ross. “Without more answers, WPRI and Goldstein’s polls have zero credibility.”

    One Wisconsin Now is launching a statewide petition drive demanding the UW cease any and all promotions or affiliation with the WPRI polling project. The petition can be accessed at: http://www.onewisconsinnow.org/page/s/uwpollingA.

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One Wisconsin Now is a statewide communications network specializing in effective earned media and online organizing to advance progressive leadership and values.