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Asher's central objective-to help students become savvy consumers of polls-has only grown in importance as polling data have become more central to public and civic discourse. His trusted and brief guide offers solid grounding on polls: how the media cover them, their use in campaigns and elections, and their interpretation. Methodological aspects of polling are explained simply, in a non-technical fashion. Bringing the book fully up to date with new data and scholarship, this edition covers polls in a fragmented media environment and nontraditional approaches to polling, as well as the use of age cohorts to trace public opinion trends over time.
Herbert Asher is professor emeritus of political science at The Ohio State University. He has written numerous articles and books on legislative politics, electoral politics, and political methodology, including American Labor Unions in the Electoral Arena, with Eric S. Heberlig, Randall B. Ripley, and Karen Snyder (2001); Presidential Elections and American Politics, Fifth Edition (1992); Theory-Building and Data Analysis in the Social Sciences, coedited with Herbert F. Weisberg, John H. Kessel, and W. Phillips Shively (1984); and Causal Modeling, revised edition (1983).
Table of Contents
|Polling and the Public||p. 1|
|The Importance of Polls||p. 2|
|The Pervasiveness of Polls||p. 4|
|Commissioned Polls||p. 6|
|FRUGging, SUGging, and Pseudopolls||p. 8|
|The Citizen as a Consumer of Polls||p. 18|
|Citizens' Views of Polls||p. 19|
|Polling and Democracy||p. 26|
|The Problem of Nonattitudes||p. 37|
|An Example of Nonattitudes||p. 40|
|The Use of Screening Questions||p. 41|
|Nonattitudes and the Middle Position in Survey Questions||p. 47|
|Response Instability and Nonattitudes||p. 51|
|Implications for Democracy and Public Policy||p. 55|
|Wording and Context of Questions||p. 63|
|Question Wording||p. 65|
|Question Order and Context||p. 81|
|Sampling Techniques||p. 91|
|Nonprobability Sampling||p. 92|
|Sampling Designs||p. 93|
|Sample Size and Sampling Error||p. 103|
|Total versus Actual Sample Size||p. 106|
|Response Rates||p. 107|
|Weighting the Sample||p. 112|
|Interviewing and Data Collection Procedures||p. 117|
|Methods of Collecting Polling Information||p. 118|
|Interviewer Effects in Public Opinion Polling||p. 123|
|Internet Polling||p. 129|
|The Media and the Polls||p. 137|
|Standards for Reporting Results||p. 138|
|Substantive Interpretation of Polls||p. 146|
|Media, Polls, and the News Reporting Emphasis||p. 155|
|Polls and Elections||p. 163|
|Sponsors of Election Polls||p. 163|
|Types of Election Polls||p. 164|
|Uses of Polls by Candidates||p. 181|
|Polls in the Presidential Selection Process||p. 184|
|When and Why Election Predictions Are Wrong||p. 189|
|How Preelection Polls Affect Voters||p. 200|
|Analyzing and Interpreting Polls||p. 205|
|Choosing Items to Analyze||p. 206|
|Examining Trends with Polling Data||p. 221|
|Examining Subsets of Respondents||p. 225|
|Interpreting Poll Results||p. 229|
|When Polls Conflict: Some Final Thoughts||p. 234|
|Polling and Democracy||p. 237|
|How to Evaluate Polls: A Summary||p. 238|
|Polls and Their Effect on the Political System||p. 241|
|Web Sites||p. 253|
|Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.|