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SAGE Publications
Polling and the Public: What Every Citizen Should Know / Edition 9

Polling and the Public: What Every Citizen Should Know / Edition 9

by Herbert AsherHerbert Asher
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Polling and the Public helps readers become savvy consumers of public opinion polls, offering solid grounding on how the media cover them, their use in campaigns and elections, and their interpretation. This trusted, brief guide by Herb Asher also provides a non-technical explanation of the methodology of polling so that students become informed participants in political discourse. Fully updated with new data and scholarship, the Ninth Edition examines recent elections and the use and misuse of polls in campaigns, and delivers new coverage of web-based and smartphone polling.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781506352428
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Publication date: 08/16/2016
Edition description: Ninth Edition
Pages: 360
Sales rank: 754,700
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Dr. Herb Asher is professor emeritus of political science at The Ohio State University and counselor to the university president. He previously served as special assistant to the university president for government relations and founding director of the John Glenn Institute for Public Service and Public Policy. He is frequently called upon as an expert political analyst by local and national media.
Dr. Asher earned his degrees at Bucknell University (B.S. Mathematics) and the University of Michigan (M.A. & PH.D. in political science).

Dr. Asher serves as faculty adviser to several student organizations, including the Undergraduate Student Government, the College Democrats, and two fraternities. He also serves on the Executive Committee and Board of Trustees of Hillel and formerly served as faculty adviser to the College Republicans.

Dr. Asher is a former member and chair of the Ohio Ethics Commission and a member of the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of Community Research Partners, a former member of the Board of Trustees of the Columbus Metropolitan Club, and former president of the Ohio State University Faculty Club.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Polling and the Public
The Importance of Polls
The Pervasiveness of Polls
Commissioned Polls
FRUGging, SUGging, and Pseudopolls
The Citizen as a Consumer of Polls
Citizens' Views of Polls
Polling and Democracy
Chapter 2: The Problem of Nonattitudes
An Example of Nonattitudes
The Use of Screening Questions
Nonattitudes and the Middle Position in Survey Questions
Response Instability and Nonattitudes
Implications for Democracy and Public Policy
Chapter 3: Wording and Context of Questions
Question Wording
Question Order and Context
Order, Context, and Visual Effects in Self-Administered Surveys
An Extended Example
Chapter 4: Sampling Techniques
Nonprobability Sampling
Sampling Designs
Sample Size and Sampling Error
Total Versus Actual Sample Size
Response Rates
Weighting the Sample
Two Extended Examples
Chapter 5: Interviewing and Data Collection Procedures
Methods of Collecting Polling Information
Interviewer Effects in Public Opinion Polling
Internet Polling
Chapter 6: The Media and the Polls
Standards for Reporting Results
Substantive Interpretation of Polls
Media, Polls, and the News Reporting Emphasis
Chapter 7: Polls and Elections
Sponsors of Election Polls
Types of Election Polls
Uses of Polls by Candidates
Polls in the Presidential Selection Process
When and Why Election Predictions Are Wrong
How Preelection Polls Affect Voters
Chapter 8: Analyzing and Interpreting Polls
Choosing Items to Analyze
Examining Trends with Polling Data
Examining Subsets of Respondents
Interpreting Poll Results
When Polls Conflict and When Polls Surprise: Some Final Thoughts
Chapter 9: Polling and Democracy
How to Evaluate Polls: A Summary
Polls and Their Effect on the Political System

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