Voter's Guide To Election Polls / Edition 4

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Overview

For the fourth presidential election running, Michael W. Traugott and Paul J. 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 imagine what misreading the polls can do!

About the Author:
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

About the Author:
Paul J. Lavrakas is former professor of journalism and communication at Northwestern University and The Ohio State University. He is currently senior research methodologist at Nielsen Media Research

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Editorial Reviews

CHOICE
This guide should help readers become not only more informed consumers of information, but also more informed, involved citizens. Recommended.
Choice
This guide should help readers become not only more informed consumers of information, but also more informed, involved citizens. Recommended.
Sidney Kraus
Without a doubt, this is the best treatment of polling and its consequences that has been written in the last forty years.
Thomas E. Mann
Traugott and Lavrakas provide exceptionally clear, refreshingly concise, and uniformly accurate answers to a series of citizen-inspired questions about the use of polls in election campaigns.
Irving Crespi
Traugott and Lavrakas have done an outstanding job in this primer on election polls. Written in clear, easily accessible style, it should be in the required reading list of any undergraduate course that deals with public opinion and polls—and many graduate courses as well. All journalists who report poll results, including those who considering themselves to be highly experienced will find it worth their while to use this guide when reading the poll releases that come across their desks.
Andrew Kohut
Traugott and Lavrakas have written a much-needed election survey primer. It provides a clear and concise exposition of the purposes, practices, and pitfalls of modern polling.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742547179
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/1/2008
  • Series: Voter's Guide to Election Polls Series
  • Edition description: Fourth Edition
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 6.15 (w) x 9.07 (h) x 0.69 (d)

Meet the Author

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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Table of Contents

Introduction
1 What are polls and surveys? : and why are they conducted? 1
2 What are election polls? : how are they conducted? 9
3 How do political candidates and organizations use poll data? 29
4 How do news organizations collect and report poll data? 40
5 Why do pollsters use samples? 51
6 How are questionnaires put together? 71
7 How do interviews take place? 92
8 How do media organizations analyze polls? 108
9 How can I evaluate published poll results? 120
10 What are some common problems and complaints about polls? 129
Epilogue 141
App. A Standards for disclosing information about the methodology of public polls 143
App. B Sample tolerances (sampling errors) for samples of different sizes 153
Glossary 155
Index 183
About the authors 195
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