Miller Center

Has Polling Killed Democracy?

April 25, 2008
9:00 AM




Mark Blumenthal, Benjamin Ginsberg, Donald Kinder, Sarah Igo

The Promise and Perils of Polling

George Gallup, an early and enthusiastic promoter, heralded public opinion polling as a fabulous new tool that would save democracy by enabling leaders to hear, for the first time, the true voice of the people. Today, polling's legacy is less clear.

On April 25 from 9:00 AM to 12:15 PM, Panelists Mark Blumenthal, Benjamin Ginsberg, Sarah Igo, and Donald Kinder examined public opinion polling's effect on American democracy in two panel discussions: "The Promise and Perils of Polling" and "The Practice and Future of Polling." Paul Freedman and Lynn Sanders served as moderators.

The "Has Polling Killed Democracy?" web site offers "one-stop shopping" for information on political polling in America.

  • Mark Blumenthal is the author of the Mystery Pollster blog, and he co-edits Pollster.com.
  • Benjamin Ginsberg is the David H. Bernstein Professor of Political Science at The Johns Hopkins University.
  • Sarah Igo, Vanderbilt University Department of History, is the author of The Averaged American: Surveys, Citizens, and the Making of a Mass Public.
  • Donald Kinder is the Chair and Philip E. Converse Collegiate Professor of Political Science at the University of Michigan.



Moderator Lynn Sanders is an associate professor in the University of Virginia's Department of Politics. Topics include: Election 2008; McCain; Obama.

Downloadable Content

April 25, 2008
10:30 AM




Mark Blumenthal, Benjamin Ginsberg, Donald Kinder, Sarah Igo

The Practice and Future of Polling

  • Mark Blumenthal is the author of the Mystery Pollster blog, and he co-edits Pollster.com.
  • Benjamin Ginsberg is the David H. Bernstein Professor of Political Science at The Johns Hopkins University.
  • Sarah Igo, Vanderbilt University Department of History, is the author of The Averaged American: Surveys, Citizens, and the Making of a Mass Public.
  • Donald Kinder is the Chair and Philip E. Converse Collegiate Professor of Political Science at the University of Michigan.



Moderator Paul Freedman is an associate professor in the University of Virginia's Department of Politics. Topics include: Election 2008; McCain; Obama.

Downloadable Content