The Voter's Guide to Election Polls

Front Cover
For the fourth presidential election running, Michael Traugott and Paul Lavrakas give voters everything they need to know about election polls and why it matters that we understand them. If statistics are worse than lies, just think what misreading the polls can do!
 

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Contents

What Are Polls and Surveys? And Why Are They Conducted?
1
What Are Election Polls? How Are They Conducted?
11
How Do Political Candidates and Organizations Use Poll Data?
35
How Do News Organizations Collect and Report Poll Data?
47
Why Do Pollsters Use Samples?
59
How Are Questionnaires Put Together?
83
How Do Interviews Take Place?
107
How Do Media Organizations Analyze Polls?
125
What Are Some Common Problems and Complaints about Polls?
147
Epilogue
161
Standards for Disclosing Information about the Methodology of Public Polls
163
Sample Tolerances Sampling Errors for Samples of Different Sizes
175
Glossary
177
Index
205
About the Authors
Copyright

How Can I Evaluate Published Poll Results?
137

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About the author (2008)

Michael W. Traugott is professor and chair of the Department of Communication Studies and senior research scientist in the Center for Political Studies at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan. Paul J. Lavrakas is former professor of journalism and communication at Northwestern University and Ohio State University and was the founding director of the survey centers at each institution.

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