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Articles on Polling

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Supporters on election night 2016 at a Hillary Clinton party, when it became clear poll-based forecasts had been off target. Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Why Americans are so enamored with election polls

Polling is an imperfect attempt at providing insight and explanation. But the public's desire for insight and explanation about elections never ends, so polls endure despite their flaws and failures.
Legendary New York City columnist Jimmy Breslin, right, ready to do shoe-leather journalistic research in a bar, said preelection polls were “monstrous frauds.” Michael Brennan/Getty Images

When noted journalists bashed political polls as nothing more than ‘a fragmentary snapshot’ of a moment in time

There was a time when well-known journalists resented preelection polls and didn’t mind saying so. One even said he felt “secret glee and relief when the polls go wrong.” Why did they feel this way?
42% of media coverage of the 2016 election focused on the horserace. Photobank Gallery/Shutterstock.com

Americans are drowning in a sea of polls

Polls have become an essential component of the news coverage of presidential campaigns. That may affect who voters decide to back on an election day.
President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally on Jan. 28 in Wildwood, New Jersey. AP Photo/Mel Evans

Trump supporters have little trust in societal institutions

In a survey, Trump supporters showed the lowest faith in the Supreme Court, the federal government, the media and other pillars of society.
The identity that people choose most often is actually ‘independent’ – not Democratic or Republican. Victor Moussa/Shutterstock.com

Don’t be fooled – most independents are partisans too

The true number of people who do not favor either of the two major political parties in the US has actually remained stable in recent years.
Senator Huey Long at the Capitol in 1935. Everett Historical/Shutterstock.com

The secret origins of presidential polling

The very first scientific horse race poll, which took place 85 years ago, was shrouded in secrecy and may have changed history – even though it was faulty.

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