April 10, 2019

1912 Community Center (Moscow, Idaho)

Kenton Bird discussed "The Art and Science of Public Opinion Polling" at the League of Women Voters of Moscow (LWV-Moscow) public forum at Moscow’s 1912 Community Center. 


Public-opinion polls are pervasive, popular and controversial. In 2016, they came under criticism for missing the winner of the presidential election in several key states. As a result, pollsters responded with new methods to better measure voters’ opinions.


This presentation provided an overview of survey methodology, including sample size and selection, question wording, and interpretation. It will also describe the challenges that pollsters face in choosing samples that accurately reflect the age, education, economic status and ethnic diversity of the target population.


Bird spent 15 years as a newspaper reporter and editor. He has taught journalism at the University of Idaho since 1999. Bird is a former director of UI’s School of Journalism and Mass Media. He holds a doctorate in American Studies from Washington State University.                          

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