72nd Annual Conference of the American Association for Public Opinion and Research
May 17- 22, 2017, New Orleans, LA
In the wake of the 2016 Presidential election, survey practitioners and scholars from across the country search for an explanation as to how so many public opinion polls could have been so wrong in their characterization of the election; many consider the impact of evaluating, comparing and aggregating data from an increasingly wide variety of methodologies. Polling accuracy has been an important research topic since the late 1940’s as the industry looked for ways to avoid another incident like the missed prediction of the 1948 election. The topic became prominent again in 1997 because of accusations by some commentators that the 1996 U.S. presidential election had been a disaster for pollsters exceeding the magnitude of 1948, and remained salient as many 2012 pre-election polls underestimated the Democratic vote share and much of the 2014 presidential election polling overestimated the Democratic vote.
Panel members Chase Harrison, Ph.D., Associate Director, Program on Survey Research at the Institute for Quantitative Social Science at Harvard University; Rich Clark, Ph.D., Professor at Castleton University and Director of the Polling Institute; Stephanie Marken, MA, Methodologist at Gallop and Lydia Saad, MA, Senior Editor at Gallop joined by Jennifer Dineen, Ph.D., Program Director, UConn Graduate Program in Survey Research, participated in a discussion on 2016 Pre-Election Polling: Methods and Accuracy in Context. The panel extended the discussions on pre-election poll by exploring the relationships between survey mode, method of data collection, and sampling frame and the accuracy of the 2016 presidential election poll forecasts. Their diverse set of papers explored the relationship between pre-election polling methods and accuracy across a variety of years, races, and electoral contexts.
UConn Alumni Contributions:
Simply Unpredictable: The Relationship between Methodology and Bias in Pre-Election Vote Share Estimates
Comparing 2016 Election Results from Traditional Phone Studies with Web-based Methodologies
Pre-Election Polling and Sampling Frame Decisions: a Case Study in Vermont
This past academic year, Angelica Daguplo (MPA 2017), chose to work in advocacy and public policy for the YWCA Hartford Region as her Internship and Professional Practice (IPP). Angelica worked directly with CEO Deborah Ullman.
Through her IPP, Angelica crossed paths with a DPP alum of a different stripe, Terry Fitzgerald, Development Events Specialist for the YWCA Hartford Region and 2014 alum of DPP’s Encore!Hartford. Encore!Hartford prepares transitioning corporate executives for careers in the nonprofit sector. Terry came to the YWCA from the corporate media field.
Angelica and Terry worked together on many projects including the YWCA’s presentation of #EqualMeansEqual, as part of the Community Matters series: timely conversations that bring community members together. “It was a pleasure to work with Angelica. I know she will be a true asset to the organizations she moves to as she forwards her career,” states Fitzgerald.
An Evolving Tradition
Over the last three years, the YWCA Hartford Region has consistently sought to bring DPP Master of Public Administration (MPA) students into their work through the IPP second year internship program. Maria Cruz, (MPA 2016) was the first Advocacy and Public Policy IPP intern for the YWCA. Maria has since gone on to a career in the nonprofit sector. She is the Compliance Specialist at The Village for Families and Children in Hartford.
This August, former DPP undergraduate Fast-Track and now second year MPA student, Isabel Blank, will be filling Angelica’s shoes. Isabel will be the 2017-2018 Advocacy and Public Policy DPP IPP intern for the YWCA Hartford Region. This upcoming academic year, 36 DPP students will be interning in 28 Connecticut municipalities, state agencies and nonprofits.
Since 1867, YWCA has consistently responded to the issues that affect women’s lives and their well-being. Increasingly, the goal for every woman and girl to achieve economic security has become the paramount theme of YWCA programs. YWCA serves the greater Hartford area with vital programs, including early learning and school-age childcare; emergency, transitional and permanent supportive housing; youth leadership development; racial justice awareness and financial literacy education. YWCA serves 2,000 people annually.