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The wizard of demoscopy


#His hits were measured in a few tenths of a point. #That was his margin of error. #It did not matter if it was a presidential election in #Central #America than an apparently decided referendum on the permanence of #Spain in NATO. #Those of us who had the privilege of meeting him were fascinated by his technical rigor and academic solidity, but also by his supernatural intuition to read the polls correctly and see what no one else knew how to see. #And that virtue led him, amid the astonishment of those who witnessed his work, to mysteriously modulate the estimates until the forecast was in a position to be fulfilled. #Like an unusual wizard of demoscopy.

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#This ability to interpret the surveys made him a reference for several generations of sociologists and political scientists in #Spain. #Perhaps his best known success, already as director of the CIS, was his accurate prognosis in the referendum on NATO, in 1986. #He not only predicted a victory of yes that no other institute or media was able to foresee. #In addition, it specified in its estimates the margin by which the yes was imposed.

#He was the only one to get the outcome of the NATO referendum right in 1986, as a result of his rigor and intuition

The successes lasted during his time at the head of the #Sociological #Research #Center, between 1983 and 1987, but also many years later when, retired from public life, he founded his own consulting firm. The vanguard #He was fortunate to have his talent and, once again, #Julián #Santamaría shone with unsuspected predictions. #Even in elections so conditioned by terrorist attacks such as those of 2004, his poll, carried out for this newspaper ten days before the appointment with the polls, was surely the only one that anticipated a trend that could lead to the defeat of the PP.

#However, the trajectory of this vital man, born in Mérida but who very soon stood out in the #Madrid of the late #Franco regime and the transition, has been much broader. #Ambassador of #Spain in #Washington from 1987 to 1990, he had already known the #United #States in 1971, when he spent two years on a scholarship at #Yale #University. #His time as a diplomat in #Washington coincided with the final stage of the complex negotiation of the new agreement on the #North #American bases in #Spain, signed in #December 1988. #Several anecdotes attest to his ingenuity to neutralize the moodiness of #Secretary of #State #Shultz in the face of an outcome. that it was not the one foreseen by the #Republican #Administration.

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#Julián #Santamaría was #Emeritus #Professor of #Political #Sciences and #Sociology at the #Complutense #University and was also president of the #Spanish #Political #Science #Association between 1997 and 2001 and, above all, the author of numerous publications and works related to #Transition, democracy, its institutions and, in particular, political parties and electoral systems. #However, his academic stature never prevented him from being generous to his colleagues and friends and selflessly spending the time necessary to thoroughly review his originals, which always improved after reading.

A man with a sober but fine sense of humor, he knew how to remove the solemnity from the political tension with an elegant slyness. #Felipe #González was once a witness to this. #And although #Julián #Santamaría was always a person of his own mind, he maintained his ideological integrity and critical weight without ever succumbing to the disconcerting positions of some of his former socialist co-religionists. #His huge heart stopped at dawn on #December 31, leaving a void impossible to fill.

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https://www.lavanguardia.com/politica/20201231/6160285/mago-demoscopia.html

#wizard #demoscopy

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