Polling

A Real-Time Polling Dashboard

This is great: Civiqs lets you track public opinion on dozens of issues, candidates, and campaigns, so you can see how events affect public opinion in real time.

The dashboard is updated daily with current measures of President Trump’s job approval rating, the 2018 generic House ballot, favorable ratings of the Democratic and Republican parties, attitudes towards gun control, and much more. There are no gaps between polls because polling is done daily. All of the results can be filtered and tabulated by age, race, gender, education, and party identification.

Study Finds Election Forecasts Lower Voter Turnout

Pew Research: “These probabilistic forecasts can give potential voters the impression that one candidate will win more decisively and may even lower the likelihood that they vote… The use of such probabilistic forecasts was a constant in coverage of the 2016 presidential race, with an average of 16 mentions per day in cable news broadcasts, according to the study. And at least in 2016, outlets with more liberal audiences featured more coverage. Forecasters uniformly favored Hillary Clinton to capture the White House, with odds ranging from 70% to 99%.”

“The new study finds that numbers like these can leave people with the impression that the race is far less competitive than when they see polling data presented as the percentage of the vote they are expected to get – something familiar to the public.”

Where Polls Live Forever

Cornell University political scientist Peter Enns, who also heads up the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research, joins Chris Riback for a discussion on how American views have evolved — in big ways and really nuanced ways — over time on some of our biggest issues: immigration, criminal justice, religion, politics, and more.

Enns is also author of Incarceration Nation: How the United States Became the Most Punitive Democracy in the World.

Subscribe via iTunes or Google Play to get new episodes automatically downloaded to your phone.

Thanks to the Cook Political Report for sponsoring this episode.

Why Alabama Polls Aren’t Much Help

Nate Cohn: “The Alabama special election is forcing pollsters to confront just about every major challenge in survey research. There’s more uncertainty than usual about who will turn out to vote, and a candidate whose unpopularity may make his committed voters unwilling to admit their support to a pollster. And looming over it all is a big chunk of voters torn between their party and their misgivings about their party’s nominee. No poll can really predict what they’ll do.”

Is This the Beginning of the End for Exit Polls?

Politico: “The departures of AP and Fox from the 20-year alliance of news organizations that have commissioned and reported national and state exit polls doesn’t necessarily sound the death knell for exit polling. The four remaining networks in the pool — ABC News, CBS News, CNN and NBC News — are locked into the current exit poll regime through the next presidential election.”

“But they will be facing unprecedented competition — from the AP and Fox News, among others — and the future beyond 2020 remains uncertain.”

Pay Little Attention to the Alabama Polls

Politico: “Roy Moore appears to have inched back in front of Democrat Doug Jones in the latest Alabama Senate election polls, according to the oft-cited RealClearPolitics average — a change in fortune from mid-November, when sexual misconduct allegations against Moore first surfaced. The reality? No one really has a clue about where things stand with Alabama voters in the December 12 special election.”

“For all the national attention and the millions of dollars spent to win the seat, there’s relatively little public polling in the contest. Only three public surveys in the average have been conducted since the Thanksgiving holiday, and odds are you’ve never heard of two of the three pollsters. And that’s precisely the problem. The most important and closely watched election in the nation is taking place in the equivalent of a polling black box.”

G. Elliot Morris: The media stopped covering Roy Moore’s sex scandal, then he bounced back.

Many Pollsters Haven’t Changed Anything

Nate Cohn: “A year after polls broadly overestimated Hillary Clinton’s strength in the decisive Rust Belt battleground states, top pollsters and analysts across the survey industry have reached a broad near-consensus on many of the causes of error in the 2016 presidential election. But so far, public pollsters — typically run by news outlets and colleges — have not changed much about their approach. Few if any of the public pollsters that conducted surveys ahead of Tuesday’s elections for governor in Virginia and New Jersey appear to have adopted significant methodological changes intended to better represent the rural, less-educated white voters who pollsters believe were underrepresented in pre-election surveys.”

“On the other hand, private pollsters — typically employed by campaigns and parties — have already begun to make changes. This is especially true among Democrats stunned by Donald Trump’s upset victory, but Republicans are making changes as well. The adjustments are already playing out in Virginia, where pollsters will have one of their first chances to put postelection shifts to the test.”