Polling, we’re told, is now in a state of perpetual crisis. From rising candidates who “won’t be ruled by polls” to the latest hand wringing over accuracy and effectiveness, it seems the industry as a whole is going through a crisis of confidence.
Why, then, do campaigns of all sizes and candidates at every level listen to what public and private polling has to say? Why are the top pollsters still renowned as gurus?
The collective schizophrenia around polling can seem perplexing, but it’s actually fairly simple. Unlike man, all polls are not created equal.
Now, how can you, as a general consultant, campaign manager, or even finance, field or political director tell that the numbers you’re getting are accurate and actionable? As a veteran of campaigns for mayor up to governor to U.S. Senate, I have learned a lot about the industry, and the dos and don’ts of conducting polls.
I have had the great pleasure of working with some of the best pollsters in this industry, on both sides of the aisle. I’ve commissioned polls from Anzalone Liszt Grove Research, North Star Opinion Research, McLaughlin & Associates, Wilson Perkins Allen, Public Opinion Strategies, Southeast Research and a host of others.