The Man Who Supposedly Cost George H. W.
Bush the Presidency
Ross Perot cost George H. W. Bush the presidency. Or so some reporters
and pundits would have us believe. Twenty years on, the legend of
Perot-as-spoiler is still with us. Pollster Tim Hibbitts wonders why.
Harry Reid: Withstanding the Wave
"Incumbents who garner positive ratings from fewer than four in ten
voters and who post double-digit deficits in match-ups against
opponents (in public polls) are not supposed to win...." Pollster Mark
Mellman and media strategist Jim Margolis describe how Nevada Senator
Harry Reid beat the odds.
The Rise of Robopolling in Calif. in 2010 and Its
Mark DiCamillo, director of The Field Poll, describes the ways in
which IVR polls and the surveys conducted by Field differ, and
explains why he views results from IVR pollsters with caution.
Court Decisions and Trends in Support for
Noting that "the tone of the national debate would likely change
significantly if support for gay marriage can no longer be written off
as a minority viewpoint," Patrick Egan and Nathaniel Persily sift
national and state-level poll data for clues about the trajectory of
public opinion on this issue.
Delegate Selection and the Democrats' End
As the Democratic presidential contenders approach the final laps in
the 2008 race for their party's nomination, delegate selection experts
Tad Devine and Anthony Corrado explain the rules of the road.
How to Forecast an Election (And How To Win
"The power of the betting markets in assimilating the collective
knowledge and wisdom of those willing to back their judgment with
money has only increased in recent years as the volume of money
wagered has risen dramatically," according to Prof. Leighton Vaughan
Williams. "Indeed, by 2004 the Intrade market model went stratospheric
in predictive accuracy as the market favorite won the electoral votes
of every single state in that yearís U.S. presidential election."
The Case For Publishing (Some) Online Polls
"[T]he trust we have in opinion polls and the different methods they
use (whether in person, telephone or online) should be based on
empirical evidence of their track record," writes Humphrey Taylor,
chairman of The Harris Poll. Taylor lays out the evidence compiled,
over the last several years, by Harris Interactive.
A Presidency On Life Support
Less than a year after his reelection, is President Bush's political
capital depleted? John Kenneth White analyzes recent polling trends
and post-war historical patterns.
The Iowa Poll and the 2004
J. Ann Selzer, director of The Des Moines Registerís Iowa Poll,
"offers a bit of Tuesday-morning quarterbacking, describing how our
analysis of Iowa Poll data fit the eventual caucus results."
The Clinton Factor in the 2000
Should Al Gore have run away from -- or with -- Bill Clinton? Thad Beyle
examines the poll evidence, state by state.
The National Annenberg
Election Survey 2000
100,000 interviews, the National Annenberg
Election Survey is the most comprehensive
academic survey ever conducted on American political attitudes and
behavior. Kate Kenski of the Annenberg
Public Policy Center provides an overview of the
The Lewinsky Affair
and Popular Support for the President
Richard Brody discusses why, in the face of
scandal, Bill Clinton received the best job ratings of his presidency in 1998.
and Reality in Reporting Sampling Error: How the Media Confuse and Mislead Readers and
Incumbent Races: Closer Than They Appear
Humphrey Taylor explains why a little
knowledge is a dangerous thing when it comes to sampling error and supplies a short list
of caveats for pollwatchers.
What you see is not what you get in many preelection ballot tests
involving incumbents. Nick Panagakis's analysis of why incumbent polls so often appear off
the mark changed how political professionals interpret election polling.
Victory: Focus Group Research in American Politics
"Most pollsters know what voters think, but too few understand how voters
feel," notes Frank Luntz. "Unlike traditional quantitative research, focus
groups are centrally concerned with understanding attitudes rather than measuring
them." A pioneering practitioner of the art of the political focus group, Luntz
recaps its use in recent election history, describes state-of-the-art methods, and
discusses the limitations of the technique.
the Internet for Election Forecasting
In an article written prior to the
1998 elections, Gordon S. Black and George Terhanian describe an experiment designed to
put Internet opinion research to the test by attempting to forecast the outcomes of
statewide races using surveys administered via the web.