CNN announced that after ten years, it parted ways this week with its longtime polling firm, ORC International, amid charges of fake news and faulty polls.
ORC’s chief marketing officer Ana Mackay-Sim confirmed that CNN “did not renew their polling contract” with ORC International. The polling firm worked with CNN since 2006 and had continued their partnership after the 2016 presidential election until late April.
“We are thankful for the opportunity we have had to partner with CNN in the past and wish them well in their future polling work,” Mackay-Sim told Politico. “We have no further comment at this time.”
CNN has, instead, decided to switch to the major survey-research firm SSRS.
Executive Vice President and chief methodologist of SSRS David Dutwin said CNN came to his firm first to bring up the possibility of working together.
“At the end of the day, suffice to say they were unhappy with something,” Dutwin said when asked about the end of CNN’s relationship with ORC. “I think we have a pretty strong reputation. So they came to us with a proposal to work with them.”
The change in polling firms comes at a time when the network has been hit with charges of “fake news” from President Trump and members of the public.
The McClatchy-Marist Poll conducted in March found that only seven percent of Americans said they had a “great deal” of faith in polls, and 29 percent said they put a “good amount” of trust in polls. The majority of respondents, however, said they do not trust polls to at least a certain degree.
Thirty-nine percent of people said they do not trust polls much, and 22 percent of respondents said they do not trust polls at all.
The public’s distrust of polls, in CNN’s case, may have to do with some of the final 2016 presidential election polls in some swing states being off greater than the margin of error.
CNN/ORC International’s poll of who would win the 2016 general election in Pennsylvania showed Hillary Clinton leading by four points, when election results showed that Trump won by 0.7 points.
In Nevada, the CNN/ORC International poll showed Trump ahead of Clinton by six points, when Clinton won the state by 2.7 points.