Paleologos’ Suffolk polls ahead of the curve

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Director of Suffolk University’s Political Research Center (SUPRC) David Paleologos has made his mark conducting notable polls: Mitt Romney was revealed as an early front runner in the recently published New Hampshire Republican Presidential Primary poll, and another recent poll listed Fox News as the most trusted news source and Bill O’Reilly the most trusted reporter.

Paleologos recently published his bellwether predicting model, which predicts outcomes with 96 percent accuracy. He’s been working with the University since 2002, publishing statewide polls from battleground states around the country. Now conducting poll research in partnership with NBC stations in both Boston and Miami, he said he first became a pollster out of necessity.

“My brother was a candidate for Woburn School Committee,” said Paleologos, “and later he ran successfully for State Representative. Our family could not afford to hire a pollster back then.”

Paleologos majored in economics at Tufts University, where he said he applied the principles of supply and demand to polling and politics.

“I had a strong statistical background, and was tutored by some distinguished pollsters in the field,” he recalled.

Paleologos also teaches political survey research at Suffolk. A popular course at the University, its students conduct political research through polling, sampling, interviewing, coding data, questionnaire design, and analysis of results (according to

The recent New Hampshire Presidential Primary poll was published 18 months before the next presidential election will take place. What do we learn from polls this far in advance?

“One can learn what the baseline is,” says Paleologos. “It serves as the backdrop, if you will, before which more recent polls will be featured.  However, it will be an important reference point for timeline analysis.”

Of the 18 possible presidential nominees as of May 2, Romney’s opponents scored in the single digits. However, 35percent of those polled favored Romney over the other candidates. Despite Romney’s large lead, Paleologos doesn’t believe the poll will have much of an impact.

“Most polls show Mitt Romney far ahead in NH,” he said. “The question is, who becomes the anti-Romney Republican candidate up there?  Someone will emerge.”

In the other recent poll, Fox News, a historically right-oriented news program, was revealed to be the most trusted news source. One of its most frequently featured newscasters, Bill O’Reilly, was named the most trusted reporter. Paleologos believes these results will have a measured impact.

“Barack Obama will need Fox News to reach Independents in key states, especially in the Midwest region,” said Paleologos. “However, the poll also showed us that Fox News really dominated in the South region as well, but many of those states are not in play and will probably vote Republican given historical trends, so Obama will not focus his efforts there.”

Many Republican voters have expressed dissatisfaction with the current slate of candidates. Paleologos commented on how he thinks this will affect the emergence of a dark horse.

“Any time you have high dissatisfaction and high undecided counts in the Presidential ballot test questions, it is a signal that there is room for a candidate to emerge,” he said. “When that person announces, I promise I will report his or her probability of winning.  I wish I had a crystal ball!  Already, we’ve seen Haley Barbour, Mike Huckabee, Donald Trump, and Mitch Daniels come and go.”

As America continues to keep an eye on the Presidential race for the next 18 months, candidates will continue to come and go. Paleologos hopes to poll New Hampshire at least two more times before the end of the year, and will begin daily tracking in January.