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Student-Run Exit Polls 101

  • Sarah E. Croco (a1), Elizabeth Suhay (a2), Rachel Blum (a3), Lilliana Mason (a4), Hans Noel (a5), Jonathan Ladd (a6) and Michael A. Bailey (a7)...
Abstract

As professors, we seek not only to impart knowledge about issues and concepts in American politics but also to engage and inspire students to become more knowledgeable and more active in politics. This article explains how a student-run exit poll conducted on Election Day 2016 accomplished both goals. Seven faculty members from four universities pooled our students and carried out an exit poll in the District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, and Ohio. By the time the polls closed, our students had spoken to more than 2,300 respondents, providing a memorable experience and creating a shared dataset that served as the centerpiece for many final class projects. Through this project, students gained hands-on experience in survey design, sampling, research ethics, polling, and data analysis.

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References
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Barreto, Matt A., Guerra, Fernando, Marks, Mara, Nuño, Stephen A., and Woods, Nathan D.. 2006. “Controversies in Exit Polling: Implementing a Racially Stratified Homogenous Precinct Approach.” PS: Political Science & Politics 39 (3): 477–83.
Benjamin, Andrea, and Miller, Alexis. 2017. “Picking Winners: How Political Organizations Influence Local Elections.” Urban Affairs Review. doi: 10.1177/1078087417732647.
Berry, Michael J., and Robinson, Tony. 2012. “An Entrance to Exit Polling: Strategies for Using Exit Polls as Experiential Learning Projects.” PS: Political Science & Politics 45 (3): 501505.
Bishop, George F., and Fisher, Bonnie S.. 1995. “‘Secret Ballots’ and Self-Reports in an Exit-Poll Experiment.” Public Opinion Quarterly 59 (4): 568–88.
Boudreau, Cheryl, Elmendork, Christopher S., and MacKenzie, Scott A.. 2015. “Lost in Space: Information Shortcuts, Spatial Voting, and Local Government Representation.” Political Research Quarterly 68 (4): 843–55.
Brown, Steven D., Docherty, David, Henderson, Ailsa, Kay, Barry, and Ellis-Hale, Kimberly. 2006. “Exit Polling in Canada: An Experiment.” Canadian Journal of Political Science/Revue Canadienne de Science Politique 39 (4): 919–33.
Cole, Alexandra. 2003. “To Survey or Not to Survey: The Use of Exit Polling as a Teaching Tool.” PS: Political Science & Politics 36 (2): 245–52.
Druckman, James N., and Parkin, Michael. 2005. “The Impact of Media Bias: How Editorial Slant Affects Voters.” Journal of Politics 67 (4): 1030–49.
Stewart, Kennedy, MacIver, Patricia, and Young, Stewart. 2008. “Testing and Improving Voters’ Political Knowledge.” Canadian Public Policy/Analyse de Politiques 34 (4): 403–17.
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PS: Political Science & Politics
  • ISSN: 1049-0965
  • EISSN: 1537-5935
  • URL: /core/journals/ps-political-science-and-politics
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Supplementary materials

Croco et al. supplementary material
Croco et al. supplementary material 1

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