The XX Factor

What’s With Those Iranian Election Polls?

If you’re wondering why there isn’t reliable polling data to help settle the question of whether the Iranian election was a farce, the Washington Post offers all sorts of (contradictory) opinions:

Ken Ballen and Patrick Doherty argue that reliable polling is possible, that they did it, and that the results were strongly in Ahmadinejad’s favor. But Jon Cohen points out that their poll was completed in May, before the contest got really heated, and that even then more than half of the respondents said they hadn’t made up their mind yet (so the 2:1 number Ballen and Doherty cite was only among people who had decided who they were voting for). Meanwhile, Mehdi Khalaji says “reputable polls” showed Ahmadinejad losing ground in the weeks before the election, but doesn’t get specific.