Marquette Pollster reveals election trends
Editor's note: UW-Parkside's ongoing Election Experience series continued Wednesday, Sept. 26, with a presentation by nationally known pollster Dr. Charles Franklin. A UW-Madison professor who is serving as director of the Marquette University Law School Poll, Dr. Franklin spoke about national trends in the presidential race. University Relations Communications Intern Samantha Savaglio attended the lecture and filed this report.
With the 2012 elections just weeks away, voters are striving to obtain as much information as possible on candidates and current issues affecting our country. Dr. Charles Franklin and his team of professionals developed the Marquette University Law School Polls to expand the community's understanding of public policy by addressing the development of the election and the factors influencing the public's opinions on popular issues. Data representing Wisconsin is gathered monthly throughout the year using intricate techniques. The incorporation of multiple polls increases the polling information's validity.
"You should always prefer an average across multiple polls to any one poll," Franklin said.
He began by addressing the current state of the national campaign, stating that this year's poll trends are considerably smaller compared to previous years. He then took the audience across the nation, focusing on the "battleground" states, with Wisconsin being the fourth largest in terms of electoral votes.
Although the polls represent a lean toward President Barack Obama, a key point that Franklin addresses is the patterns that appear within the polls are not fixed.
"There's still plenty of time for this race to tilt given the right kinds of issues coming out, the right kind of campaign messages," he stressed. "The patterns you're seeing here are not necessarily set in stone."
Dr. Franklin co-founded the award-winning site Pollster.com and has served as a member of the ABC News election-night analysis team.The Election Experience is sponsored by the university's Politics, Philosophy, and Law Department. The series continues Monday, Oct. 1, with the lecture "Has Democracy Got a Chance? The Supreme Court's Influence on Campaign Finance" presented by with Political Science Professor Ross Astoria. The program starts at noon in the Oak Room of the Student Center. Admission is free.