The staffing changes the Huffington Post has made to its HuffPost pollster department in the wake of senior editor Mark Blumenthal‘s departure to SurveyMonkey gives the publication one of the few all-female polling departments in the field.
Natalie Jackson, who is also the team PhD, has been named senior polling editor and will be responsible for the 2016 polling model, drawing on her experience as the creator of HuffPost’s 2014 model. She was previously the senior data scientist.
When asked about how an all-female team could affect how polling is done, Jackson told FishbowlDC, “There’s no effect on the nature of the polls themselves. It’s about the balance in the field–and especially in the analysis side of things. Diversity is always key in any field, and this field happens to be very male-dominated, so I’m proud to be one of the few all-female teams.”
Ariel Edwards-Levy has been upped to director of polling and will be in charge of the HuffPost/YouGov survey. She will also continue in her role as staff reporter. “Only Ariel could manage that and also report in her spare time,” D.C. bureau chief Ryan Grim wrote in a note to staff announcing the promotions.
Janie Velencia retains the title of associate polling editor but now has an expanded role with more reporting duties.
The search is also on for a polling fellow to round out the team.