Public Opinion in Presidential Elections

Thursday, Feb 4, 2016
by zrahman

Editor in Chief at Gallup Poll- Frank Newport, PhD delivered a speech and presentation at the Woodrow Wilson School called Controversy Over the Role of Public Opinion in Presidential Elections on February 4, 2016.

“The record of polls in primary elections is so bad that the sophisticated poll watcher will pay little attention to them, or make allowance for larger errors, if he does”

“The first charge comes from individuals and groups who object to the specific results which a given poll indicates”

“A second type of criticism comes from those who admit the desirability of measuring public opinion, but emphasize defects in the present methods of operation”

“Finally, there is the argument that polls weaken the democratic process, either by destroying interest in elections, or by creating a “band-wagon vote” among the doubtful voters.”

Establishing what the public wants representatives to do once elected


»Election is not optimal for this 
»Vague mandate
»Wide time gaps