Pre-Election Polls

One of the most common and visible applications of survey research is pre-election polling. These polls typically include one or more trial heat questions, which ask respondents how they will vote in the upcoming election, along with other measures of voter knowledge, attitudes, and likely voting behavior. Unlike most polls, the validity of pre-election polls can be assessed by comparing them with actual election outcomes.

Numerous organizations in the United States and around the world conduct pre-election polls, and the number and frequency of such polls has been growing. Many pre-election polls are public, conducted by news organizations, academic institutions, and nonprofit organizations. Many others are privately conducted by partisan party organizations and campaigns to assist in candidates' message development, resource allocation, and overall strategy. The ...

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