Welcome to Wisconsin, a swing state where every vote really does seem to count and where campaigns, consultants and media outlets hire pollsters to find out what people are thinking in the weeks and months before Election Day.
"And your teacher told you to put your head down and raise your hand, but then you would kind of peek your head up and see what everybody else is doing," Jaramillo said. "To me, that's kind of like what a poll is. And I'm curious, I'm really curious what other people are thinking. And I want to share what I'm thinking, too."
J. Ann Selzer runs the polling firm Selzer & Co., whose clients include The Des Moines Register. The data-crunching website FiveThirtyEight, which grades pollsters based on their accuracy over time, gave Selzer's company an A+.
But Franklin said the catch is that many of the pollsters who don't identify who they're working for up front are keeping that information private for a reason. He said it may be that they're working for a campaign, and they're concerned that will shape the way people respond.
Some pollsters are changing the way they contact potential voters, partly because it's getting harder and harder to get people to answer phone calls. But pollsters are still divided over using text messages.
Ulm said he's been polling in Wisconsin since the late 1980s. Back then, he said it would take seven calls to get one person to respond to a poll. Now, he said it takes his firm more than 100 calls to get one response. He said pollsters have had to adapt.
Selzer and Franklin don't use texts, and Selzer said she remains skeptical of their accuracy. She said she was at a dinner party once with a father and daughter who both received the same poll via text. The daughter, who was politically active, answered both surveys herself.
"There are typically some standard questions that pollsters will ask at the beginning," Selzer said. "They might ask your age. They might ask your specs just to be sure that they're tracking with demographics the way they hoped for. Some general questions about whether things are headed in a good direction or wrong track."
If a poll doesn't ask that basic information and starts off with a flurry of negative statements about one candidate, that's likely a "push poll." Unlike a poll that seeks to gather information about what voters think, a push poll is solely interested in influencing voters.
But defining "legit" when it comes to polling can be subjective. Not every pollster has the same objective because they're working for different clients. And that shapes the way they ask their questions.
But when a pollster is working for a campaign, they may have different objectives in mind. Ulm said that might mean testing to see how voters respond to certain news about candidates, both positive and negative.
The case for political candidates, universities or news organizations conducting polls is an easy one. It gives them at least a shot at predicting the future, and in the case of campaigns, a chance to try to change it.
"The first thing I want to do is thank her for taking polls. I wish more people would," Tollaksen said. "And because she's willing to take these polls is probably why she continues to get targeted with all of them."
"There has been much talk about polls showing strong support for Clinton. It seems to me that the validity and significance of this polling needs to be examined and interpreted with more care and depth. Basically, would not opinion polling have more gravity if the polling were done of persons who were voters at the 1992 and 1996 elections, rather than measuring the general public?"
Within hours after receiving that letter, I was able to ask that question of Mark Penn, the president's pollster, who was our Monitor breakfast guest. Mr. Penn said he'd done such polling and responses were in line with the general polling results. Then he added that people who don't vote usually won't admit it. When asked, they will say that, "Oh, sure, I voted."
My friend backed up his plea for a "voters" poll in this way: "It should be more widely known and recognized that Clinton received 43 percent of the popular vote in 1992 and 49.2 percent in 1996. In 1992, 55.1 percent of the voting-age population voted, and in 1996 that figure dropped to 48.9 percent. Unless my math is out of kilter, these figures show that Clinton was elected by 23.7 percent in 1992 and 24.1 percent in 1996 of the voting-age population. That indicates something far short of an overwhelming mandate for Clinton. Furthermore, given his behavior, it is stretching credulity to think that there has been a groundswell of support moving toward Clinton from voters who did not vote for him in either of these elections."
After listening to this convincing argument, I'm left with this uncomfortable thought: Whether the current polls really accurately reflect public opinion or not, they are being used by just about everyone as a reference point to measure our public figures, including our presidents and presidential candidates.
The president certainly believes them. More than one source close to the White House has said that President Clinton governs by polls. If he wants to do this, he first takes a poll. If he wants to do that, he summons his pollster to provide the needed guidance.
I asked Penn if this is true. He didn't deny he was playing that role. But he said polling was only one of several references Mr. Clinton uses before making a decision. "Clinton makes his own decisions," Penn said.
I'm reminded of political consultant Richard Morris's disclosure of a conversation he had with Clinton when the president was wondering if he might clear up the mess he was in by apologizing to the public. According to Mr. Morris, Clinton asked him to take a poll. And when Morris came by a few days later and told Clinton the public would forgive him for his sex excesses but not for perjury, he said the president responded, "Well, then, we just must win."
I asked Penn about that Morris poll. He said he knew nothing about it. I asked if he hadn't been curious that another poll was being taken by someone else in the White House. No, he said. Hadn't he talked to Morris about it? No, he said, "I don't know if even such a poll was taken."
Mallory Newall: Sure, happy to. I have been at Ipsos for the past five years, working closely with my partner-in-crime, Chris. As you mentioned, we do a lot of public-facing polling here in the US. Prior to that, I cut my teeth in research in political polling. I am currently based in Washington, DC.
That's according to a recent survey of 2,000 Americans conducted by market research company OnePoll and commissioned by sleep research site Sleepopolis. The report, which was recently highlighted on the TODAY show, found that people who make their beds tend to be adventurous, confident, sociable and high-maintenance. Meanwhile, people who don't make their beds tend to be shy, moody, curious and sarcastic.
Polls are a great way of collecting inputs from your audience. Whether you're organizing a (remote) company meeting, a conference, or teaching a class, you can use them to lighten up the mood, test knowledge, or ask for feedback. You can choose from various types of single polls, run a Quiz, or activate multiple polls at once via Survey.
When creating a poll, you can also add its description under the three-dot menu. Once your poll is ready, click the green play icon to activate it. If you want to activate multiple polls at the same time, create a Survey.
Quick tip: Character limit in polls Your poll question can contain up to 256 characters. Another 256 characters are available for the poll description. There's no character limit for open text poll responses from the audience.
Poll the audience with a multiple choice question to learn more about their preferences and opinions. A multiple choice poll is also a quick way to check your audience's understanding of presented content in real-time.Each option in a multiple choice poll can be up to 256 characters long.
Create a Survey to run multiple polls at the same time, collect feedback, rate multiple items and add an "other" option to a multiple choice poll. For a more detailed tutorial on Surveys, read the Run a Survey via Slido article.
There are no specific limits on the number of questions or characters in a survey but there is a limit of 100 polls or 100 000 characters per room overall. Have you added more than that to your survey or your event?
Instead, you could have three separate open-text polls in the survey, then export the results and combine them manually. You could also set up an open-text poll, allow multiple answers and send participants a direct link just to this poll. 2b1af7f3a8