Political Polling with Professionalism and accuracy cannot come from a keypad and a PC as well as it can from a well-trained Live Interview call center polling operator.
What is the history of polling? The scientific name for polling is Pspephology—which simply means: voting by pebbles. In their 1970 classic, Scammon and Wattenberg (1) explain how the earl4iest known western votes cast in Ancient Greece were done by placing a pebble in a bowl associated with the candidate that the voter wanted to vote for.
Today, the academic study of Psephology utilizes multi-seat Call Centers to conduct a wide range of Voter ID Surveys, Polls that must be performed and analyzed with professionalism and accuracy.
The first identified American political poll reportedly appeared in Pennsylvania, according to Franklin and Marshall University and other sources. The Harrisburg Pennsylvanian published voter surveys of the hot 1824 Jackson-Adams Presidential race.
While the methods used were a hardly modern—and many pollsters, political consultants and survey research companies would justly call its methods of the day ‘crude—it turned out that there was good reason to focus on public opinion in this race because the election ultimately went to the House of Representatives for resolution resulting in what history critically calls “ The Secret Bargain”, according to historians Robert Remini, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. and Maurice Baxter.
We’ve come eons since these days both technologically and intellectually. The country has grown too, most readily agree. With a 300 million population, Voter Survey, Voter ID, Polling, Sampling and Data Research methods have grown increasingly complex in conjunction with the emergence and constant evolution of computers and the sophisticated software that runs them. Likewise, the development of the study if statistics and demographics allows the construction of more accurate, focused, penetrating and multi-faceted polls, questions, survey styles, and data source structures.
Polling was always a human endeavor starting with those early canvassers in Harrisburg. As methods, tools and populations evolved and grew, the personal touch remains through use of telephone-conducted Live Interview Voter Contact and Political Polling efforts. Political consultants, professional pollsters, corporate and consumer data research companies and trade, issue and advocacy groups alike painstakingly craft the wording and structure of their polls to elicit the strength of the stated opinion of the Respondent. Moreover, good polls and surveys are worded and structured to weed out dissembling and ambivalence—as much as it is humanely possible to do so without a so-called ‘Lie Detector’ (polygraph).
The three key points of a polling effort—either conducted by a campaign, polling firm, trade association or for a corporate effort—are:
U.S. BASED CALL CENTERS: It’s IMPORTANT.
There is no ‘acceptable rate of secondary quality’ in Call Centers. Best Call Centers in the U.S. cannot tolerate anything less than the perfect completed call unit. The best way to do this is to have management, consultants, and editors, analysts, and operations managers in one place, in one time zone, in tune, technically-connected and reactive. Highest Number of Calls made and Completed is a phrase that we at Telepoint practice—hands on—in real time.
The type of call center www.telepointcomm.com utilized for polling can easily spell the difference between victory and defeat. Likewise, the same call centers conducting polls and surveys also conduct Election day GOTV efforts as well as Direct Connect and Patch-Through advocacy and issue calls for trade groups, issue-oriented organizations and other causes.
While statistically rare, we have been treated to the spectacle of elections being decided by less than 600 votes—sometimes by less than 35 votes. Close major elections in modern history decided by less than 1000 votes are more common than most think. While the cause identification for such close results contains quantifiable as well as qualitative and subjective variables, few running these close result campaigns ever say that they wish they had not done more detailed polling or more aggressive GOTV telephone programs.
MICRO-TARGETING & DEMOGRAPHICALLY COMPLEX CALL PROGRAMS
Telepoint is in touch with the latest in successfully employed micro-targeting Voter Identification and Outreach systems, technologies and practices. These new methods, which have resulted in more electoral wins than any other single factor in the last seven years, are well understood by our young, social media-savvy staff.
(1) Scammon, Richard, and Wattenberg, Benjamin, The Real Majority: An Extraordinary Examination of the American Electorate (1970).
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