Tagged as: iraq

Pollsters Struggle for Accurate Picture of Mideast by Carl Bialik – The Numbers Guy – Wall Street Journal – February 26, 2011

At the height of this month’s protests in Egypt, pollsters phoned hundreds of Egyptians on their cellphones and landlines to ask them, among other things, who should be the next president of the country. Just 16% named Hosni Mubarak, who hadn’t yet stepped down.

As much as the results, the poll itself was a reflection of the growing efforts by governments, companies and others to gauge public opinion in the Middle East. Until the last decade, few major international polling organizations surveyed in the region. Today, many do, including Gallup and Pew Research Center, producing data on what Arabs and Muslims think about the U.S., religion and al Qaeda. But pollsters work under severe restrictions. Some comply with regimes that review questions and delete touchy ones. Others avoid polling during …