Save for that small and dwindling share of the country that can remember 1948, Election Night 2016 was the political shock (for good or for bad, depending on your point of view) of a lifetime for Americans. As head pollster for CBS News, Anthony Salvanto was at ground zero for analyzing the late stages of Campaign '16, speculating on whose voters would turn out and making the calls of key swing states that millions saw on Election Night. In "Where Did You Get This Number," Salvanto offers a primer on polling and its importance to the political process.
One question that comes up most frequently when polling is discussed is why the vast majority of people are never called—I myself have only been called once, for the 2002 Texas Senate race. Salvanto explains how samples are put together that fairly accurately reflect the electorate as a whole, how polling questions are carefully crafted for neutrality, and how polling has changed across the decades with the advent of cell phones and the Internet.
Other topics that Salvanto analyzes are the margin of error in polls and how to interpret it, how many if not most independents really lean toward one of the two parties, how divided the country really is, concerns with paying attention to poll aggregators, and, maybe most importantly, describes the group that both parties will need to do well with to win in 2018 and 2020.
Pollsters use the answers Americans give to interviewers to see how individuals think about the country and the world and how the country as a whole is trending and how it sees issues. If you're a political junkie many if not most of the concepts here will already be familiar to you, but you'll also learn a few new things from this book that analyzes a topic that we all are exposed to frequently.
- Hardcover: 256 pages
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster (1 August 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1501174835
- ISBN-13: 978-1501174834
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.5 x 22.9 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 408 g
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