Feature Focus

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May 20, 2020

The Power of Polls

by Sacha Gragg

Election season, that crazy period of red and blue themed parties, caucuses, an unending stream of news sites analyzing candidates, and polls. Lots and lots of polls. There are exit polls, entrance polls, popularity polls, and more.   In a world full of dazzling surveying possibilities like the research-favorite survey or the newly fashionable CX, polls can seem quite simple. It would be a mistake to underestimate the importance and value of polls, however.   If you’re wondering what makes a poll different from a survey—surveys have multiple questions and are specifically designed to delve deeper into a topic. In contrast, polls are generally just one question.   Many organizations around the world specialize in polling; over a dozen of which are in the United States alone. The many tools with polling capabilities out there—SoGoSurvey included—give the pollster (the entity running the poll) an ability to influence.   Polls have many uses. Oftentimes those uses have a strong connection with democracy and voting. A successful democracy is one that keeps tabs on the pulse of public opinion. This is true of the first known poll. A  state newspaper, the Harrisburg Pennsylvanian, was credited with creating the first opinion poll in 1824 when it asked voters who they intended to vote for in the upcoming presidential election.     History of Polling Today’s polling methods was developed a century later by George Horace Gallup, the creator of Gallup. Not the first, he was, perhaps, one of the most famous pollsters. The […]

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