There can be great profit in giving powerful people the wrong answer, as long as it’s the answer they want to hear. But there’s also times when a wrong answer really is wrong. Polling giant Gallup has issued intent to do that, and I think we can all tell them exactly how to accomplish it — assuming they really want to:
TPM — Gallup’s editor-in-chief Frank Newport wrote in an email published Monday by Politico that “a blue ribbon group of outside experts” is conducting a review of the firm’s “methodological issues” during the 2012 election. The findings will be unveiled during an event on June 4 at Gallup’s Washington, D.C. office.
The move comes after an embarrassing stretch for Gallup in which the firm was widely panned for its 2012 election polls. Soon after the election, Fordham University put the firm near the bottom of its rankings for pollster accuracy. And more recently, MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough launched a blistering on-air attack last week against the firm.
Here’s how Gallup the polling operation fixes massive polling failures: you fire the highest level, best paid people who were assuring you everything was fine as the failure unfolded. I don’t know if that includes Frank Newport or not.
But I predict Gallup the for-profit company won’t do that. After being jaded by the new corporate reality, where failure at the top is crammed directly down below as far as it will go with no consequences at all to the culprits, I predict Gallup will let go a few mid level people, nerf payouts and career ladders for the least infuential and most vulnerable foot soldiers in their workforce, and keep most of the high level fuck-ups in place free to refuck-up. Then in a few years maybe we’ll all be treated to Gallup failing again and wondering quietly or aloud why they can’t get it right when so many others did.