Murray to speak at distinguished lecture series


Staff reports



Patrick Murray has been added as a speaker for the 2018 Jane M.G. Foster Distinguished Lecture Series at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Sodexo Ballroom East in the Morris University Center at Shawnee State University.

Murray will be giving his lecture, “Polling in a Brave New World.” The presentation addresses both the challenges and opportunities for practitioners and consumers of polling data the 2016 election exposed, not only regarding political polls but for the myriad economic and sociological studies that rely on survey research.

The 2016 election defied the experts, particularly those who conducted and relied on public opinion polling to understand the dynamics of the campaign. Final analysis suggested the polling itself was not off by as much as critics made it out; however, the unrealistic expectations of polling’s precision led to an erroneous narrative that revealed significant flaws.

“Murray runs Monmouth University Polling Institute, which has received critical praise for its study of public opinion on critical national and state issues,” said Sean Dunne, associate professor of sociology at SSU. “I’m looking forward to the presentation because he will be discussing the role of poling in contemporary politics in the U.S., and will provide insight into the role of quantitative research in the social sciences.”

Murray was named the founding director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute in 2005. In that short amount of time, the institute has established itself as one of the nation’s leading independent survey research centers, earning A+ ratings from FiveThirtyEight.com, one of only five polling organizations out of nearly 400 nationally to receive this top grade. He frequently appears as a commentator on national and regional TV and radio, including appearances on various programs on CNN, MSNBC and Fox News, as well as National Public Radio and ABC’s Good Morning America. During the federal election years, Murray serves as an exit poll analyst for the NBC News Decision Desk.

The Jane M.G. Foster DLS is sponsored by the SSU Development Foundation.

Email Sean Dunne at sdunne@shawnee.edu.

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Staff reports