Election Polling Resources Available
Election polling, like the 2016 presidential campaign, can sometimes be confusing. To help cut through the clutter, AAPOR has just published a series of informational backgrounders on critical aspects of election polling.
The briefs, written by some of the country’s leading experts in survey methods and election polling, offer concise, non-technical explanations of techniques that are central to political polling, including how pollsters identify likely voters and a description of how exit polls are conducted.
Other briefs examine some of the emerging issues in political polling, including the rise of poll aggregators, the use of non-probability samples in election polls and a look at the controversial phenomenon known as “herding”.
These briefs can be found on the newly redesigned and expanded Election Polling Resources page on the AAPOR website. They are intended to complement and not to replace more detailed task force reports or other resources available to researchers elsewhere on the AAPOR website. Instead, the backgrounders are designed to provide the media and interested citizens with a brief but authoritative introduction to each of the topics.
Among the subjects covered:
- Likely Voters by Dan Merkle, executive director of elections, ABC News
- Explaining Exit Polls by Joe Lenski, executive vice president, Edison Research
- Sampling Methods for Political Polling by John Loft, principal scientist, RTI International
- What is a “Push” Poll? by Jordon Peugh, vice president of health policy and public opinion research, SSRS
- Herding by political scientists Joshua D. Clinton, Vanderbilt University and Steven Rogers, St. Louis University
- Poll Aggregators by Allison Kopicki, director of research for the Penn Program on Opinion Research and Election Studies, University of Pennsylvania and director of election polling, NBC News.
- Online Panels by Roger Tourangeau, vice president and associate director, Westat
- Automated Polls by Jennifer Dykema, senior survey methodologist at the University of Wisconsin Survey Center
- Margin of Sampling Error/Credibility Interval by Rich Morin, senior editor, Pew Research Center
In addition, Timothy Johnson, chair of AAPOR’s Transparency Initiative Coordinating Committee, is preparing a short introduction to the Transparency Initiative that will be posted on this page soon.
The Election Polling Resources page also includes an updated version of “A PRIMER ON PRE-ELECTION POLLS: Or Why Different Election Polls Sometimes Have Different Results” by former AAPOR president Cliff Zukin of Rutgers University.