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.

Polling and Democracy

Polling and Democracy

It’s very clear

The polls are here to stay;

Not for a year,

But ever and a day.

The interviews and the questionnaires

And the pollsters that we know

Aren’t just passing fancies—

Oh, my goodness, no!

The media

Love polls in every way.

It matters not

If polls have scant to say.

In time statistics may numb you,

Results may stun you.

Wait for another day,

For—the polls are here to stay.

—With apologies to George Gershwin

Public opinion polling is a contemporary manifestation of classical democratic theory; it attests to the ability of the rational and wise citizen to make ...

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