Political Animal


April 21, 2014 3:28 PM New Republican Robopollster

By Ed Kilgore

As regular poll-watchers know, the sheer volume of surveys churned out by a particular polling firm can have an impact on polling averages, and even more so on subjective impressions of public opinion. Until Public Policy Polling emerged as a Democratic national firm, the ubiquity of surveys from Rasmussen provided a not-so-subtle thumb-on-the-scales for Republicans in perceptions of opinion trends. PPP (which has a pretty strong record of accuracy) now churns out as many surveys as Raz.

So it’s worth noting that a new Republican firm relying mainly (though not entirely) on less expensive automated polling (a.k.a. robopolls) is entering the field: Vox Populi Polling, with Mary Cheney as the best-known partner. You get the sense from Alexander Burns’ description of the firm at Politico that PPP-style frequent polling is definitely in the cards for Vox Populi.

It is not clear, however, if the new firm will emulate PPP’s publication of extensive cross-tabs, which makes its products especially useful for the deeper sorts of analysis, totally aside from the horse-race numbers.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


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