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Elon University Poll receives A- rating from news site FiveThirtyEight

Launched in 2000, the Elon University Poll has become a respected resource for public opinion research with statewide and national surveys conducted by telephone and online.

The news site FiveThirtyEight has given a grade of A- based upon its accuracy and methodology during the past several years, an increase from B+ when the ratings were last updated in 2016.

That rating ranks the Elon University Poll among the top tier of those universities, media outlets and organizations conducting public opinion research nationwide. FiveThirtyEight, founded by noted pollster Nate Silver, rated the work of close to 400 polling operations in this latest offering.

“The evolution in communication technology has created challenges for election polls across the globe," said Jason Husser, director of the Elon University Poll and assistant professor of political science. "Despite this, the Elon University Poll continues to produce reliable estimates of public opinion, due, in large part, to a talented group of engaged student interviewers. We look forward to sharing accurate informational resources in future election cycles.”

The grades were based upon the historical accuracy and methodology of each firm’s polls, with Elon rating well in how closely it predicted the outcome of political contests, how it compared to peers in its predictions and how well it is expected to assess voter opinions in future contests.

In offering an overview of the new ratings, Silver notes that polling, which faced strong criticism following the 2016 presidential election, continues to follow historical accuracy trends. Read Silver’s full assessment here.

The Elon University Poll conducts statewide telephone surveys during the academic year and this year began exploring national opinions about a variety of topics. This spring, in partnership with The Business Journals, the Elon University Poll surveyed the opinions of residents of the 19 U.S. metro areas contending to become home to a second headquarters for retail giant Amazon.

The results of that survey are available here and all of the Elon University Poll’s results are available here.

The Elon University Poll was launched in 2000 and is funded by the university as a public service to citizens. 

Owen Covington,
6/12/2018 9:50 AM