Mitofsky International is a survey research company founded by Warren J. Mitofsky in 1993. Its primary business is conducting exit polls for major elections around the world. It does this work exclusively for news organizations. Mitofsky has directed exit polls and quick counts since 1967 for almost 3,000 electoral contests in United States, Mexico, Russia and the Philippines.
His record for accuracy is well known. "This caution in projecting winners is a Mitofsky trademark, one which has served him well…," said David W. Moore, the managing editor of the Gallup Poll in his book, The Super Pollsters.
Mitofsky International also specializes in legal proceedings. Its cases included the change of venue portion of the Amadou Diallo shooting by four New York City police; the challenge in the U.S. Senate to seating Diane Fienstein after her victory over Michael Huffington; the South Carolina video poker law suit; the First Amendment law suits by the news media challenging the anti-exit poll statutes of the states of Washington, Florida and Georgia; the change of venue portion of the Orange County, California, law suit agains Merrill Lynch; a trade mark law suit concerning Billy Banks’ Tae-Bo exercise video; an arbitration proceeding among 17 oil companies that banned together with DOJ approval to avoid takeover by Libya’s Mu'ammar Al-Qadhafi; the authenticity of polling conducted for Oregon’s assisted suicide vote;
MI election research clients in the United States have included ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and Time; international clients include Televisa and the National Chamber for Radio and Television Broadcasting (Mexico), RAI (Italy), ZDF (Germany), Fuji (Japan), NTV and RTR (Russia) and Austrian and Finnish television.
MI conducted the only exit polls for the Russian presidential elections in 1996 and 2000. It also polled for the 1993 and 1999 Duma election. In 1994, MI conducted the only exit poll and quick count for the Mexican presidential election reported by the country's broadcast industry. Mitofsky received public commendation by President Carlos Salinas for his contribution to the election's credibility. MI and its Mexican partner, Consulta, have conducted exit polls for most governor elections between 1997-99 for Televisa, Mexico’s largest television network. Consulta/Mitofsky also covered the first PRI national presidential primary in 1999. MI started the only public opinion poll in Sri Lanka.
MI conducted exit polls for the 1994 mid-term U.S. elections for leading national newspapers. Since 1996, Mitofsky has done the electoral projections and analysis for president, governor and congress for CBS and CNN.
MI’s president, Warren Mitofsky started and directed Voter Research & Surveys from 1990 to 1993, which was the election consortium of the four major television networks, ABC, CBS, CNN and NBC. It is now known as Voter News Service (VNS).
From 1967 to 1990, Mitofsky was executive director of the CBS News election and survey unit, and was an executive producer of its election night broadcasts. He conducted the first exit polls for CBS in 1967, and developed the projection and analysis system used successfully by CBS and Voter News Service. He started the CBS News/New York Times Poll in 1975 and directed it for CBS for its first 15 years.
Mitofsky was president of both the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the National Council on Public Polls (NCPP). He currently is president of the Reserach Industry Coalition. He received AAPOR's Lifetime Achievement Award in 1999. He is a Fellow of the American Statistical Association and serves on the boards of the Roper Center and the NY State Committee on Open Government. In 1995 he was a fellow at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. Later that year he was the Howard R. Marsh Visiting Professor at the University of Michigan.
Mitofsky came to CBS News in 1967 from the Census Bureau where he designed many surveys during the early days of the poverty program and for presidential commissions including those investigating the selective service system and the Watts riots. He also designed many other demographic surveys. Along with Joseph Waksberg, he developed a highly efficient random digit dialing telephone sampling method, which has been widely adopted.
At the University of Minnesota, Mitofsky became a doctoral candidate in mass communications, but did not complete the degree. With Paul Sheatsley, he edited A Meeting Place: The History of the American Association for Public Opinion Research, and was an editor of Campaign ’76 and Campaign ’78. He currently is working on a book about exit polls.
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