Emerson Polling uses a combination of landline respondents and online panels that creates a representative artificial sample. This is a change from 2016, where Emerson Polling received recognition for accurately assessing voting intentions throughout the 2016 election using a landline-only sample design. The 2017 change in methodology led to the Emerson Poll’s increase in statistical and predictive accuracy, a change that wa...
Emerson Polling uses a combination of landline respondents and online panels that creates a representative artificial sample. This is a change from 2016, where Emerson Polling received recognition for accurately assessing voting intentions throughout the 2016 election using a landline-only sample design. The 2017 change in methodology led to the Emerson Poll’s increase in statistical and predictive accuracy, a change that was reflected in an improved rating by Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight from a B+ in 2016 to A- from an analysis of all polls from 2017-2019. Emerson Polling ranked #9 of over 400 pollsters in 2019, ranking the highest among pollsters who use IVR/Online mode of data collection.
Emerson College Polling is a Charter Member of the American Association of Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) Transparency Initiative— AAPOR is the leading professional organization of public opinion and survey research professionals in the United States, with members from academia, media, government, the nonprofit sector, and private industry. The Transparency Initiative membership demonstrates Emerson College Polling’s commitment to transparency in our research methods and our pledge to abide by AAPOR’s Code of Professional Ethics and Practices.
In the 2018 Midterm Election season, Emerson Polling conducted 54 congressional, gubernatorial, Senate polls in 20 different states across the nation. Following the election, it was determined that Emerson Polling achieved statistical and predictive accuracy in 93% of these races. Notably, the Emerson Poll predicted Jacky Rosen’s victory over incumbent Senator Dean Heller in the 2018 Nevada Senate race within a point. The Emerson Poll had Cruz winning the contentious Senate race in Texas by 3 points, he won by 2.6. Emerson was the only poll in 2018 to predict Kim Reynolds to win the gubernatorial election in Iowa.
Emerson College has partnered with the Blanquerna School of Communication and International Relations to create the Emerson-Blanquerna Center for Global Communication. This Center has created new opportunities for research and teaching to promote public diplomacy, international marketing, digital media, sports communication, public relations and political communication. Emerson’s global campus is reflected in Emerson Polling conducting polling research in Spain, the UK, and Canada.
Academic Research and Publication
Emerson Polling conducts and publishes research relating to voting trends, polling methodology, and public policy. Research is consistently presented at the International Academy of Business Disciplines (IABD) and the American Association of Public Opinion Research (AAPOR). In 2019, Director of the Emerson Poll Spencer Kimball presented an analysis of modes of data collection titled “Comparing Online Panels and IVR Samples.” This study analyzed trends of online, mixed mode, live operator, and IVR polls from 2012, 2016 and 2018.
The Emerson Poll methodology pairs an automated system that collects data over landline phones with an online panel of participants. A random sample of registered voters or all citizens depending on the needs of the survey are purchased from Aristotle Inc., a leading supplier of phone lists to the survey research industry, and Amazon Turk, an online panel of individuals. Through the use of a screening question, we usually seek out “likely voters”. The results presented in our reports include univariate and bivariate analysis of the data. Frequency distributions for each item included on the questionnaire are shown in the tables. In all cases, cross-tabulation results are also shown. This type of bivariate analysis examines differences between sub-groups of the overall population.
The modes of data analyses are non-probability and deductive (from “general” to “specific”) in nature, so instead of using classical statistics to quantify the ‘uncertainty’ or range of scores a poll represents, we use Bayesian Statistical methods, that produce the mathematical likelihood of an event of interest, and that are inductive in nature (from “specific” to “general”), for data analyses in best estimate the true population mean proportion. Due to their inductive nature and probability oriented approach, Bayesian methods are often called “Evidence-Based” Statistics (Satake, 2014, 2016, and 2017).
Who We Are
- Spencer Kimball
- Professor Kimball teaches Political and Sports Communication courses in both the undergraduate and graduate programs at Emerson College. He is the director of Emerson Polling and the advisor for the Emerson Pre-Law Society and the Emerson College Polling Society. Kimball is a national pundit quoted in a variety of publications including the Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, Huffington Post, Washington Post, Fox News, the National Journal, and National Public Radio (NPR).
- Phone: 617-824-3491
- E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Dr. Gregory Payne
- Dr. Payne ‘s expertise is in political communication, public diplomacy, crisis communication, spectacle media events and health communication, protest rhetoric, especially the shootings at Kent State. He has edited the American Behavioral Scientists campaign edition for every presidential election since 1988. He is a past president of the International Academy of Business Disciplines, past Chair of the NCA Political Communication Division, and current Chair of the Communication Studies Dept at Emerson.
- Phone: 617-824-8737
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