Warren Mitofsky

Statistician, Author

1934 – 2006


Who was Warren Mitofsky?

Warren Mitofsky was an American political pollster.

Mitofsky graduated in 1957 from Guilford College and was executive director of the CBS News election and survey unit from 1967 to 1990. He also previously served as an executive producer of CBS election night broadcasts.

Prior to CBS, Mitofsky worked with the Census Bureau where he designed a number of surveys. Along with Joseph Waksberg, Mitofsky is credited with developing an efficient method of sampling telephone numbers using random digit dialing, which has since been widely adopted as a sampling method. In 1999, the American Association for Public Opinion Research presented him with its lifetime achievement award for his "continuing concern for survey quality".

Mitofsky is credited with having invented the exit poll.

Warren Mitofsky is listed among the United States Census Bureau's Notable Alumni

In November 2004, Mitofsky was interviewed by PBS NewsHour regarding what went wrong with the accuracy of his exit polls for the 2004 U.S. presidential election. Early poll results were leaked which showed John Kerry leading George W. Bush, conflicting with the final official outcome. Mitofsky said he suspected that the difference arose because "the Kerry voters were more anxious to participate in our exit polls than the Bush voters." He refused, consistently, to release precinct-level polling data from Ohio to researchers who maintained that the election results were fraudulent, and his own exit polls were a more accurate picture of the vote.

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Sep 17, 1934
  • United States of America
  • Guilford College
Lived in
  • New York City
Sep 1, 2006
New York City

on July 23, 2013


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