protestors using bull horns to shout at each other

Splitting Apart: American Polarization, Part 1

This is part one of a two-part series on polarization in America. This post focuses on Americans' views on, and roles in, polarization. Part two addresses the systemic causes of polarization that result from our ... Read Now >


11/11: McClatchy-Marist Poll

Which candidate qualities matter most to voters nationally?  Find out in the latest McClatchy-Marist Poll.

The White HouseTo read the full McClatchy article, click here.


11/10: McClatchy-Marist Poll

Are Americans more concerned about being a victim of gun violence or a terror attack?  Find out in the latest national McClatchy-Marist Poll.

To read the McClatchy article, click here.


11/9: McClatchy-Marist Poll

Do Republicans like their party’s field of candidates more or less after hearing more about them?  Find out in the latest national McClatchy-Marist Poll.

To read the full McClatchy article, click here.

7/6: Congratulations MIPO Class of 2015

The Marist Poll team congratulates and bids farewell to the graduating class of 2015.  The End of the Year Awards Ceremony was celebrated on May 4th in the Hudson Riverview Room of the Student Center at Marist.

7/15: A Student’s Perspective: Recollections from Marist Pollster Nick Bayer

Nick Bayer, a fourth year Marist Poll veteran and Head Coach, stopped in the other day to talk about his time at MIPO. After joining the team in the fall of his freshman year, Nick was quickly promoted to the highest held student position of Head Coach. When I asked Nick what his time with us has meant to him and how it has impacted his Marist experience, he took a step back and recalled some of his most memorable moments at the Marist Poll.

“From the time I started at The Marist Poll I loved it,” Nick reflects. In fact, he says his favorite semester was his first since it was the fall leading up to the 2012 Presidential Election. “I was able to follow along as we neared the election. It was the closest I ever followed an election, and it really got me in the spirit of things,” Nick shares. He also says he loves getting a chance to know what the general public thinks on a plethora of topics.

As for being promoted to a head coach position, Nick has especially appreciated the chance to get more deeply involved at The Marist Poll. “I have enjoyed the opportunity to work in the office and get to know the staff and understand what everyone does behind the scenes,” he notes. “It is so interesting to see what happens after we are done polling.”

Nick also expresses his gratitude for what he calls “bonus experiences” such as attending dinners with guest speakers and special events like the Marist Poll’s recent panel discussion, The Message and the Messenger, in Washington, D.C. “These opportunities have really added to my Marist experience and have made me feel extra important,” Nick says with a laugh.

Before Nick left, I asked him what advice he had for students thinking about working for The Marist Poll. “Do it,” Nick urges. “If you want a job that is meaningful and allows you to be part of something much bigger, The Marist Poll is the place to work.” He also tells potential Marist pollsters to give it their all, and Nick promises it will pay off.

6/3: 2015 Distinguished Service Award

The 2015 Jill Carboni Distinguished Service award goes to Alexa Gherlone. Alexa has worked with us since her freshman year and has been a valued member of the Marist Poll team. After demonstrating her excellent interviewing skills, she was quickly promoted to a coach position. Alexa was promoted again her junior year to a head coach position. Alexa has worked nearly 100 nights as a Coach and Head Coach combined. Thanks for all the hard work!

5/29: 2015 Baccalaureate Award Winner

Katie, a double major in History and French, has been an amazing asset at the Marist Poll as an interviewer, Head Coach, and office assistant. Katie has gone above and beyond in her classes, internships, and at the Marist Poll. Her dedication, hard work, and talent have made her a stand out performer. We will miss you Katie!

5/28: Top 10 Reasons Why Polls Should Not be Used to Determine Eligibility for Debates

By Dr. Lee M. Miringoff

Herding is for horses.  Not for pollsters doing horserace polls. Neither should the media herd the field in a political horserace via debates.  Why?  Here is my take on the…


10.  Many candidates will fall within the error margin.  Rankings become statistically meaningless.

9.1 Using decimal points makes statistically meaningless rankings even more meaningless.

7.9 – 8.1   Poll strew doesn’t necessarily taste very good.  Some polls probe undecided voters to include “leaners,” others don’t.   Some polls will be based on “likely” voters, others on registered voters. Poll results also vary when it comes to live or automated modes of data collection, proportion of cell phones vs. landlines, and weighting and analyzing data.

7.  More problems.  Some national polls take out “undecided” voters and recalculate based upon 100%.  This wreaks havoc on averages.

5.  Ok.  I know I skipped number 6, but, then again, there’s no guarantee all polls will ask all candidates either.

5.1 (Couldn’t figure out where to place this item because it is not actually higher or lower than 5, statistically speaking).  Some polls use push-button phones to record preferences.  It’s tough to include 18 names when only numbers 1 thru 9 are usable.

4.  “HELLLLOO” house effects.

3.  Given that early caucus and primary states punch a candidate’s ticket to continue, why use a national average to determine debate participation?

2.  Name recognition unduly influences results of early primary horserace polls.  Lesser known candidates will now frontload their efforts to try to make the cutoff.  Public polls altering campaign strategies?  BAD!

1.  And, finally, do you really want public polls this involved in a picking presidential nominee?

Try this on for size.  How about a random drawing of half the field of announced candidates for the first hour of a debate and the second group for the second hour.  More manageable.  More equitable. And, doesn’t require a top 10 list!

4/14: Removing the Label of Inevitability?

By Dr. Lee M. Miringoff

The Hillary Clinton 1.0 “Listening Tour” and the 2.0 “Listening Tour” may be the same remedy from a campaign strategy point of view, but the circumstances are very different.

caricature of Lee MiringoffWhen seeking the U.S. Senate from New York, although well-known, she had never sought elective office and had to prove herself as a candidate in her own right.  Also, there was the so-called “carpetbagger” issue which required her to learn about New York and demonstrate her ability to represent the state.  The task before Clinton now, having been a senator, candidate for president, and Secretary of State, is to re-invent herself as someone who can connect and relate to Americans.  Success will be measured in whether she can earn the public trust, rather than seem that she is once again inevitable and entitled.  Lacking stiff competition for her party’s nomination, Clinton also needs to find a way to stay relevant over the next year to avoid being defined by the GOP.  She also needs to stave off the Republicans characterizing the political agenda.  The trip to Iowa seems like a good place to begin and the drive there an interesting attention grabber.

Right now, Clinton has a clear path to the nomination.  But, Democrats do want to have a dialogue.  She hopes the listening tour provides that interaction.  The general election is more of a 50-50 proposition.  Demographic changes are in her favor.  When Bill Clinton was elected in 1992, 87% of the electorate was white, and only 13% were people of color.  Fast forward to 2012, white voters represented only 72% of the electorate and people of color had more than doubled to 28%.  Will the Obama coalition turn out and be solid for Clinton?  Will the GOP make any inroads with Latino voters?

Offsetting this “Demography is Destiny” thesis is the so-called “curse of the third term.”  In 1988, Bush 41 was elected following President Reagan’s election and re-election.  The previous time a president served a full eight years and then someone of the same party was elected was Rutherford B. Hayes following President Grant.  History may repeat itself, but it doesn’t often.

3/13: Tolerance for Religious Rights

While there has been growing acceptance of gay marriage in the United States, Americans also value religious liberty.

A majority believes moral conscience exemptions from the law should be allowed.  Many Americans also assert that wedding vendors and public officials with religious objections should not be penalized for denying services to same-sex couples.

Respecting the traditional definition of the family is an  important ideal to notable proportions of Americans.

Catholic News Agency/Marist Poll Results: Demography

Catholic News Agency/Marist Poll Results: Political Subgroups and Demography

Catholic News Agency/Marist Poll Results: Religion

Catholic News Agency/Marist Poll Methodology

To read the full story by the Catholic News Agency, click here.