A very straight forward concept; what the public thinks about a particular issue or set of issues at any point in time.
Public opinion polls
Interviews with samples of citizens that are used to estimate feelings and beliefs of the entire population.
Iowan who is considered the founder of modern day polling, polls have played a key role in defining issues of concern to the public, shaping administration decisions and helping "speed up the process of democracy" in the U.S.
Walter Lippmann observed that research on public opinion was far too limited, especially in light of its importance.
Popular magazine that first began national presidential polling in the 1916, use of straw polling.
An unscientific survey used to gauge public opinion, to predict the popular vote.
a subset of the whole population selected to be questioned for the purpose of prediction or gauging opinion.
Wrongly predicted Thomas E. Dewey as the winner in 1948 over the true winner, Harry S. Truman. BUT predicted Obama as the winner AND the share of the popular vote in 2008.
National Election Studies (NES)
Conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan since 1952, focus on the political attitudes and the behavior of the electorate, and they include questions about how responders, voted, their party affiliation, and their opinions of major political parties and candidates.
Recently, been more difficult to conduct, both due to the growth of cell phones and peoples' increasing unwillingness to be contacted by outsiders.
Conducted as voters leave selected polling places on Election Day. Precincts from large news organizations sample every tenth voter as he or she emerges from the polling site. Series of questions are asked.
Taking on a daily basis by some news organizations, introduced to allow presidential candidates to monitor short term campaign developments and the effects of their campaign strategies.
Allowing anyone to weigh in on a poll, resemble a straw poll in terms of sampling and thus produce results that are largely inconclusive and of interest only to a limited number of people.
Questions that go over the line. Designed to give respondents negative informations about a candidate's opponent to push them away from that candidate and toward the one paying for the poll.
Gives each potential voter or adult approximately the same chance of being selected.
Based on census date that provide the number of residents in an area and their location.
Margin of error
errors within polls, typically within a sampling of 1,000 would be about 4 %.
Each person needs a fair chance to be sampled.
Where people acquire their beliefs, family, school, etc.
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