September 3, 2018
Newsmakers

Mary Snow | Polling Analyst, Quinnipiac University Poll

Mary Snow

Over the past few years, journalists and pollsters have received intense criticism from many corners of the American public. Mary Snow is moving from one profession to the other.

In July, the veteran journalist and former CNN correspondent started work as an analyst for Quinnipiac University's nationally acclaimed polling operation, where she is providing analysis and serving as a spokesperson for the Hamden-based organization, focusing on polls in New York and New Jersey. She'll be coming up with poll questions and discussing their results.

Snow, a native of Brooklyn, says there's a lot of unpredictability in polling, just like in journalism. But at least now she'll have a more set work schedule.

After the 2016 presidential election there was widespread commentary that people lost confidence in polling. Is that true?

2016 was an unusual year starting with the fact that one candidate won the popular vote and the other won the Electoral College. There were also developments close to Election Day that had the potential to sway votes. Some late polls showed a close race heading into Election Day and it's worth noting that Quinnipiac University's polls have had a solid track record for more than 20 years. Polls are meant to offer insight and context during a specific window of time.

In what ways has your journalism career prepared you for this job?

I learned early on to embrace the unpredictable. You never know what your assignment might be from one day to the next. Along with that, you become a perpetual student. It's key to be as prepared and informed as possible while covering a story. I think the learning curve will be answering questions instead of asking them.

Why is polling important in today's world?

There is so much turmoil in today's world and people are being confronted with questions on issues they never envisioned. In my humble opinion, I think polling is important to add the perspective of public opinion, a voice of the people. There are so many critical issues and races in this country and our polls bring insights to public debate.

Can you tell us something about yourself that most people don't know?

Most people are surprised when I tell them I worked as a television/digital reporter for Yahoo. Yahoo was way ahead of its time when it launched an online financial show back in 2000. I was a reporter at the New York Stock Exchange and sometimes worked from Yahoo's campus in California.

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