Election polls are surveys that are taken before, during, and after election season and are used to predict and explain election outcomes. The media conduct election polls to satisfy their viewers' and readers' desire for “horse race” journalism and to help editors and reporters plan their coverage of elections and politicians. Candidates and political parties use them for strategic purposes, including fund-raising and helping to position their campaigns in the best possible light. Political scientists and other academics conduct election polls to understand the influence of campaign dynamics on voting behavior.

Election polls employ various survey methods and come in a variety of types. In the United States over the past few decades, most election polls have been random sample telephone polls, drawn from various

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