To our readers:
The wide gulf between the results of Tuesday's election races and the most recent Bluegrass Poll is a source of frustration for the Herald-Leader and its media partners as well as for our pollster — Survey USA — especially after a similarly huge difference in last fall's U.S. Senate race.
As a result, we are rethinking our approach to election research and plan to make changes for future campaigns. Depending on how we proceed, we will look for a new research firm and no longer will use Survey USA.
The Bluegrass Poll has long been an important public service that we have been proud to present because of the insights it provides into races and issues. But changes in the electorate, particularly in Kentucky, have made polling more challenging and such polls may no longer be the best way to gain an understanding of issues shaping voters' decisions.
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Survey USA has been a solid polling partner for us and many other media organizations. After last fall's Senate race, Survey USA worked to adjust its methodology to accommodate the changing Kentucky electorate. In the May primary this year, its poll predicted a tight race — though it overestimated the strength of Hal Heiner. In its defense, we have heard that, of all other polls conducted by candidates or others before Tuesday's election, none hinted at the wide margin Matt Bevin would ultimately receive.
We recognize that the integrity of our news organizations depends on delivering useful information and insights, and we remain committed to ensuring that we do.
— Peter Baniak, editor