Media Polls in American Politics

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Public opinion polls have become staples of contemporary political reporting, and most national news organizations have sophisticated in-house polling operations. The increased number and quality of polls conducted and reported by the press give the public a chance to help set the agendas of campaigns and define the meaning of elections.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Like partners in a bad marriage, the news culture and the research culture don't always understand each other. This book is a major step toward reconciliation." —William Schneider, Cable News Network

"An instructive volume on a phenomenon of growing importance. Like it or not, the polls are part of our political life. This helps our understanding of what they can do for us —and to us." —David S. Broder, The Washington Post

"The best set of essays available on the impact of the mass communications media on American Politics and government." —Austin Ranney, University of California, Berkeley

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780815754558
  • Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/1992
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 172
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.99 (h) x 0.53 (d)

Meet the Author

Thomas E.Mann is a senior fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution, where he holds the W. Averell Harriman Chair. He is a frequent media commentator on American politics. Gary R. Orren is professor of public policy at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and coauthor of The Electronic Commonwealth: The Impact of New Media Technologies on Democratic Politics (1988).

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Table of Contents

1 To Poll or Not to Poll... and Other Questions 1
2 The Growth of News Polls in American Politics 19
3 Technology and the Changing Landscape of Media Polls 32
4 Polling Pitfalls: Sources of Error in Public Opinion Surveys 55
5 Variability without Fault: Why Even Well-Designed Polls Can Disagree 95
6 The Impact of Media Polls on the Public 125
7 The Illusion of Technique: The Impact of Polls on Reporters and Democracy 150
Index 168
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