U.S. Politics Feb. 14, 2007

How Reliable Are the Early Presidential Polls?

As the number of declared presidential candidates grows, followers of early poll readings should bear in mind some caveats. Early frontrunners for the Republican nomination in most of the past seven open contests have gone on to win the nomination, but this year there are two GOP frontrunners instead of one clear leader. On the Democratic side, even when there is a clear frontrunner as there is this year with Sen. Hillary Clinton, the early polls have been less reliable in predicting who will capture the nomination.

Global Oct. 26, 2006

Are National Polls Reliable Predictors of Midterm Elections?

National elections are the high season for pollsters and with Election Day now less than two weeks away, new polls on the fight for Congress are being released nearly every day. Commonly, pollsters use something called the “generic ballot” to assess the state of the congressional race. Just how accurate is the “generic ballot” in predicting election results?

U.S. Politics Oct. 26, 2006

Cell-Only Voters Not Very Different

Political pollsters continue to cast a wary eye on the growing number of Americans who use only a cell phone and have no landline. The Pew Research Center estimates that this group now constitutes one-in-ten adults. But three Pew surveys of cell-only Americans this year have found that their absence from landline surveys is not creating a measurable bias in the bottom-line findings.

Pew Research Center Sep. 28, 2006

Lenski on Exit Polls in the Coming Elections

In an exclusive interview, Joe Lenski of Edison Media Research reflects on conducting his first election day survey following the death of his former partner, exit poll pioneer Warren Mitofsky. He also reveals steps that will be taken to avoid problems associated with the 2004 poll.

U.S. Politics May. 15, 2006

The Cell Phone Challenge to Polling

While Americans who rely solely on a cell phone for telephone service differ in their demographics from land-line subscribers, a new study finds that so far the results obtained by surveys that exclude cell-only users are not significantly affected.