Marist Poll Preps for Midterm Elections

The Marist Poll employs and educates many students as well as conducts research used by top-tier organizations and media. Lee Miringoff, the director of the Marist Poll, says the center has been gearing up for the upcoming midterm elections on Nov. 6.

Miringoff has been with the Marist Poll since it was created in 1978. He says that they have had an excellent track record for “providing a narrative for different issues through qualitative studies used to determine the sense of polarization.”

Judging from his experiences at the poll for those 40 years, Miringoff believes that this current election season will have higher turnouts than midterm elections in the past, even though it will still be far lower than for the presidential election in 2020. From their results thus far, he shares that this election may have the largest gender gap he’s ever seen since this season has mobilized women to vote more than ever before.

Ahead of election day, the Marist College Institute of Public Opinion manages a robust schedule with a wide variety of polls. First, they do 25 state polls between July and November along with their partner, NBC. These polls focus on the battleground senate races, like those in states like Missouri, Arizona and Florida where the race is predicted to be tight.

The state polls try to determine who is likely to vote and where their inclinations and enthusiasm lie. Miringoff adds that there were many different topics to ask about because of the tumultuous political climate during Trump’s time in office.

On the national level, the Marist Poll works with NPR and PBS to conduct another five or six polls on broader topics. Some of the recent focal areas include discovering more about the feelings associated with the Kavanaugh hearings. For the midterm elections, questions pertain to feelings about the President, the sense of Congress and other important issues for the election.

The information obtained from the Marist Poll is used all over the country. Their partners get to use the data first, but after that radio stations, social media accounts and campaigns use the information to cover the election season. The Marist Poll never works for campaigns because that would be more about message testing, which is not their objective.

The Marist College Institute of Public Opinion primarily is an educational center offering classes, lectures and podcasts centered around a drive for information. Student media assistant, Harry Parette, says that election season is an especially eventful time at the poll.

“The Marist Poll is especially important around election season because it provides an accessible way for people to read about and understand current political issues and hear the opinions of Americans nationwide,” Parette says.

Jenny BradfordComment