The opinion makers : an insider exposes the truth behind the polls / David W. Moore.

By: Moore, David W. (David William), 1940-Material type: TextTextPublisher: Boston : Beacon Press, c2008Description: xvii, 196 p. : ill. ; 23 cmISBN: 9780807042328 (hardcover : alk. paper); 0807042323 (hardcover)Subject(s): Public opinion -- United States | Public opinion polls -- United States | Election forecasting -- United States | Mass media -- Political aspects -- United States | Press and politics -- United StatesAdditional physical formats: Online version:: Opinion makers.DDC classification: 303.3/80973 LOC classification: HN90.P8 | M65 2008
Contents:
Iraq and the polls: The myth of war support -- Manufacturing public opinion -- Telling Americans what they think -- Inscrutable elections -- Misreading the public -- Damaging democracy -- Uncertain future -- A new direction.
Summary: Moore describes the questionable tactics pollsters use to create poll-driven news stories, and clearly spells out how urgent it is that we make polls deliver on their promise to monitor, not manipulate, the pulse of democracy.
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Item type Current location Call number Status Date due Barcode
Book University of Texas At Tyler
Stacks - 3rd Floor
HN90 .P8 M65 2008 (Browse shelf) Available 0000001950716

Includes bibliographical references (p. 165-181) and index.

Moore describes the questionable tactics pollsters use to create poll-driven news stories, and clearly spells out how urgent it is that we make polls deliver on their promise to monitor, not manipulate, the pulse of democracy.

Iraq and the polls: The myth of war support -- Manufacturing public opinion -- Telling Americans what they think -- Inscrutable elections -- Misreading the public -- Damaging democracy -- Uncertain future -- A new direction.

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CHOICE Review

Moore (Univ. of New Hampshire), a former senior editor of the Gallup Poll, critiques political polling. In recent years the disparity in the results reported by public opinion polls has regularly exceeded the statistical margin of error. Moore argues that the often-contradictory findings are caused by prior questions influencing responses, the way pollsters describe complex issues in their questions, forced choice questions that create opinions where none existed, and the general decline in response rates. He also argues that the large number of respondents who indicate in follow-up questions that they would not be upset if the opposite of their policy preferences were enacted indicates that on a number of issues there is much weaker public support than is usually reported. Moore worries about the political implications of these erroneous results, which foreclose debate by exaggerating the extent and stability of public opinion on controversial issues. Moore includes a useful discussion of the development of public opinion polling in the US. His critique is of interest to political practitioners, methodologists, and students of public opinion. Summing Up: Recommended. All readership levels. A. D. McNitt Eastern Illinois University

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