SCSU Political Science Chair Discusses Poll Challenges
(KNSI) – As the midterm election cycle heats up, pollsters are trying to get an accurate read on the race. It’s not always easy.
Jim Cotrill, dean of political science at St. Cloud State University, said in 2016, in particular, that the sample pollsters get is truly representative of the entire population, including historically “shy” voters. provided some valuable lessons about meticulously verifying
“I used to get a lot of reaction from the college education level and didn’t see it as a problem. Obviously, it’s not necessarily a big part of the country.
Cottrill says if you’re a member of an underrepresented group, like a high school with higher education, you could get multiple calls for opinions. He says it’s not ideal for either party, but the truth needs to be revealed.
According to Jim Cotrill, racial polls are very difficult, especially in races where shocking facts called “October Surprise” are likely to be discovered.
“Most pollsters don’t have the funding to keep up with research after research, so they usually don’t have long-term data. It can be very difficult because you’re comparing to different populations, different samples.”
According to Cottrill, it’s become common to try to get the most complete picture by averaging all the votes for a particular race. He says it’s not a perfect solution, but the general rule of thumb is that more data is always better than less.
Saint Cloud State is preparing to begin statewide voting soon. Cotrill says it’s important to remember that the survey is not intended to advance any particular agenda.
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