Erdos & Morgan, Roll Call: What To Make?

So what are we to make of the fact that Roll Call is a sponsor of the Erdos & Morgan Opinion Leaders Survey they’re touting? (See them listed as a sponsor in the 2002-3 survey here)

Well, we asked a Roll Call spokesperson to explain:

    Opinion Leaders is a completely independent survey run by Erdos & Morgan. Publications that want to use the data from the survey can simply buy it at any time, before or after the survey. We have no control over the questions that Erdos & Morgan asks or who Erdos & Morgan speaks to. Roll Call, like many other publications including National Journal, Washington Post, the Economist, CQ, MSNBC, the Wall Street Journal and USA Today, simply purchased the independent data from Erdos & Morgan. As well, since Erdos & Morgan is looking to have a full representation of the media market, even if a publication doesn’t buy the data, that does not affect whether or not they will be included in the survey.

So why sponsor? Roll Call says it merely gives them access to the results:

    They not only send us 10 bound copies of the final survey results, but they also send us the raw data for review on our end. That’s how, for example, we’re able to delve even deeper into the number and pull out information about “regular readership by Congressional opinion leaders.” For example, in the bound copies of the survey…they only list “total readership” by “Congressional opinion leaders” — in other words, those senior-level folks from the Congressional branch who said that they read a publication either on a regular or occasional basis. The raw data also includes those senior-level folks from the Congressional branch who only say that they read the data regularly, and by purchasing the data, we can take a look at those sorts of numbers.

    This really isn’t anything like, say, our readership survey where we actually craft the questions in conjunction with Erdos & Morgan. We’re out of the loop for the Opinion Leaders — Erdos & Morgan creates, runs, supervises and otherwise controls the survey.

An email to Erdos & Morgan to find out if they’re able to reveal who else is a sponsor of this latest survey, the sample size and the number of congressmen interviewed has not been returned…We’ll let you know if/when they do.