The Pollsters

The Pollsters

United States

Explore what America’s thinking with two of the country’s leading pollsters--the bipartisan team of Democrat Margie Omero and Republican Kristen Soltis Anderson. In this weekly podcast we take a fresh, friendly look at the numbers driving the week’s biggest stories in news, politics, tech, entertainment and pop culture. Along with the occasional interview with pollsters, journalists, and other industry leaders, we'll lift the hood on the numbers revealing the hidden secrets of the public’s mind.


#93: The Pollsters @ Harvard with Joel Benenson & Tony Fabrizio  

Kristen & Margie are back! We went up to Harvard's IOP Campaign Manager Summit.  While you may have heard about some testy conversations, our pollster summit with Clinton pollster Joel Benenson & Trump pollster Tony Fabrizio was friendly and informative. What kinds of questions did they ask? Were they surprised? How have their years in the trenches prepared them for this race? Listen to our live show  & hear about our new big announcement!

#92: Give thanks for KSA on the mic!  

Margie's still detoxing, but Kristen's got thoughts. Take a listen. And we'll have a live show from Harvard next week!

#91: Maybe polling does take a holiday? (Vacation announcement)  

Maybe polling does take a holiday? Margie's detoxing too hard to get a good consistent connection, so stay tuned for Plan B. 

#90: Uh, surprise?!  

We don't have any shownotes. Or a script! We just have some theories about what happened in the race, what happened in the polls, and then some jokes. Because, beer. 

#89: Buckle up!  

We’ve been a lot of places--if we spent any more time together this week we would’ve had to give each other candy.


Poll of the Week

Can Ivanka’s brand withstand Hurricane Trump?

Fortune: Women won’t buy Ivanka Trump shoes  

What is happening out there?!

The race is tightening. Or is it?

Real Clear Politics: YouGov’s Doug Rivers and Benjamin Lauderdale on Phantom Swings NBC/Survey Monkey: Post-Comey letter polling Morning Consult: Post-Comey letter polling Morning Consult: Polls unaffected by reopening of email case ABC/Washington Post: Trump creating more enthusiasm among early voters NYT Upshot: Where the handicappers are  

Early Voting

Early voting seems to be benefit Clinton. But will that advantage last?

CNN: Early voting tallies in FL, AZ, OH Florida Division of Elections: More early voting tallies in FL Nevada Secretary of State: Early voting tallies in NV  

Just a little respect

Hats, swag, angry pollsters, angry neighbors. Just a wonderful time to be alive.

Pew: Hillary supporters have a “hard time” respecting Trump voters Washington Post: Trump has spent more on hats than polling Washington Post: Trump hasn’t paid his pollster PSB Research: Who is reaching voters and how?  

Key findings:

We’re in the final countdown. Pick up some stickers & yard signs, do some GOTV & don’t obsess talking about the polls. Oh wait, that was just a note Margie wrote to herself. Thanks everyone for an incredible year and a half of The Pollsters! We love you guys & gals, and glad you’ve enjoyed our regular polling deep dive & bad jokes.  
#88i: Mark Blumenthal from Survey Monkey is our Justin Timberlake  

This week we talk to The Pollsters' version of SNL's Justin Timberlake or Tom Hanks: Survey Monkey's Mark Blumenthal! He updates us on all thinks Monkey.


The Survey Monkey map The Survey Monkey Blog Mark's piece on likely voter modeling More on Survey Monkey's methodology Follow Mark on Twitter
#88: Our Senate-sational Special  

It’s your lucky day! We’re doing a special Monday episode since we may not be able to find time later in the week. So check out our Senate-sational special!  Aldo, don't orget  to follow @margieomero & the #walmartmoms hashtag for groups Tuesday night.


Poll of the week

Is Trump just making excuses, or might the election be rigged? A new ABC poll finds yet another big party divide.

ABC News poll on Clinton’s double-digit lead


The senate!

The Upshot compares all the the handicappers and forecasters into one giant clip-n-save, or click-n-spin.

NBC/WSJ poll on congressional preferences The upshot on Senate election forecast The New York Times on Senate election poll



The New York Times on Pennsylvania Senate race Politico on Pennsylvania Senate race The New York Times endorsement of Katie McGinty



The New York Times on Indiana Senate race Politico on Evan Bayh’s Collapse Associated Press on Bayh and job hunt Politico on Bayh’s Indiana address


New  Hampshire

The New York Times on New Hampshire Senate race Politico on New Hampshire Senate race


North carolina

The New York Times on North Carolina Senate race Politico on North Carolina Senate race



The New York Times on Missouri Senate race Politico on Missouri Senate race



The New York Times on Nevada Senate race Politico on Nevada Senate race



The New York Times on Florida Senate race


We’ve got issues

Gallup poll on candidates and key issues Pew Research Center on spouse’s preferences  


Key Findings

It’s never too early to prepare for your next campaign, folks. The trump effect downticket may not be as big as people think. But it’s definitely not helping. And if you’re not feeling like you hear enough about the issues, call your spouse.

#87: Nasty Woman vs One Bad Hombre  

The “Nasty Woman” vs. the “Bad Hombre.” Kristen & Marge are on west coast time. Now who’s the puppet!?


Poll of the week

It turns out you are entitled to your own facts. On that we agree, it seems.

Pew Research Center on candidates and facts  


The debates! They’re over!

We made it through the final debate. So, uh, anything change?

Pew Research center on fact checking CNN/ORC post-debate poll


Are you being rigged?

Yikes! Will people trust the polling results?

Morning Consult on rigging concerns


To Russia, with Love

Changing views toward Russia among the GOP? What would Reagan say?

Morning Consult/Politico poll on Russia


Tale of the tapes. Again

Huffington Post on sexual assault Gallup poll on sexual assault NBC/SurveyMonkey poll on Trump’s respect for women Washington Post/ABC News poll on Trump’s treatment of women PRRI on imorality and professionalism


If kids could vote

USA Today on Children’s presidential pick Sesame Street poll on Kindness and kids


Key findings:

We’re almost there everyone! Surely we can at least agree on how many days are left till the election? (fact check: yes!) Is it okay to call someone nasty, or a bad hombre? Or to shout wrong at someone who isn’t wrong? What if you disagree with them on tax policy? (fact check: no!) Is it okay to fantasize about being in a pre-school election, or to daydream about what shows you’re going to binge watch after the election? (fact check: yes!)
#86: Stress polling & stress eating  

Well it's pretty crazy out there. Hold onto your crosstabs everyone. And don't forget you can see Margie in LA on 10/20 at the Ace Hotel with the fine folks at KCRW's Left Right & Center. Check it out here.


Poll of the Week

There's a reason we're going to focus on the tapes & the debate--it's one of the biggest news stories this year.

Politico/Morning Consult National Poll


October Surprises

The post-debate polling is bleak for Trump, but  not quite as volatile as the news. Maybe.

Brietbart on post debate poll CNN/ORC poll on the second debate NBC SurveyMonkey poll on the the second debate NBC/WSJ poll on Trump’s tape Politico/Morning Consult on Trump’s tape Huffington Post/HuffPost Pollster on trump’s respect for women SurveyMonkey on Trump’s tapes The Atlantic on Trump and female voters Reuters/Ipsos Poll on Clinton’s marriage FiveThirtyEight poll on gender gap YouGov/Economist Poll on gender gap NBC/WSJ poll on GOP’s action on Trump Politico/Morning Consult on GOP’s action on Trump Morning Consult on Trump’s loyal supporters



Mmm. McMuffins. Kristen's Muffin-map is driving Twitter crazy.

Deseret news/Y2 Analytics poll on McMullin


Are you going crazy?

You're not the only one feeling stressed out about this election. But are you the only one who believes a conspiracy theory?

Washington Post on unproven rumors Washington Post on perceived partisan biases Politico on Trump’s mental health toll NYT Upshot: Your therapist may lean blue


Candy binge

In times like these, we turn to candy.

Influenster: each state’s Halloween favorite


Key Findings

Let’s not get the message muddled here. The tapes are not about cursing, but about assault. That could explain some of the differences in results we’re seeing. And while the impact on the race is clear--the impact on the GOP’s fortunes...too soon to say. News is moving faster than public opinion, and public opinion moving faster than pollsters. Is the election giving you stress? Are you binge eating candy and McMuffins? Talk to the pollsters. Tell us how that makes you feel.
#85: The Taxman Cometh  

Hey we’re on Spotify now! Go check us out. Like ABC/This Week on Facebook so you can see our (mostly) weekly Facebook Live videos. And have you checked out our new website yet?


Poll of the Week: Do you need an information diet

Clay Johnson, call your office.

NORC on news consumption


The Taxman is coming, just not for Donald Trump

People care about Trump’s tax returns. But will it change their vote?

SurveyMonkey on tax returns Quinnipiac on tax returns YouGov/Economist on top news stories


Return of the TV dads

Dads square off, probably not changing the race much.

ABC/SSRS on VP candidates NBC/SurveyMonkey on VP candidates CBS on Luntz focus group CNN focus group in Richmond CNN/ORC Instant poll Swing kittens say meow


The forecast is bleak, and we’re talking Donald, not Matthew

Huffington Post has a new forecast

Huffington Post forecast Huffington Post methodology Slate collection of forecasts


While the climate is, partisan

Pew reveals major party differences in views toward climate change. Kristen sees, uh, a silver lining.

Pew on Climate Change


Here’s something really scary

Get ready for Halloween folks! Basically that means dressing like a superhero.

NRF on Halloween costumes NRF on Halloween spending


Key Findings

People are looking for more information sources about buying stuff than about politics. And that’s even before last night’s rockin’ VP debate! Even a bunch of kittens could tell you that Clinton’s had a post-debate bounce. The candidates may not be talking much about climate change, but don’t worry, there are still deep partisan divides anyway. You know what’s really scary? That political costumes are going to be pretty popular this year.
#84: Snap Polls. Snap Judgments?  

Hey guys! We’ll be on Spotify very soon. Check out our new website & send us very nice emails about how we can make the resource page better!


Poll of the week! Or maybe, “relevant pitch” of the week?

How might you find independents on radio? Nielsen sent us some answers.

Nielsen data on CNBC


Snap judgment

So we had a debate. Who are you going to trust to find out who won: the polls? Or the other polls?

Real Clear Politics on Luntz focus group WP informal focus group CNN/ORC post-debate poll PPP post-debate poll Morning Consult post-debate poll NBC/Survey Monkey post-debate poll Echelon poll YouGov post-debate poll Newer PPP post-debate poll NYT on post-debate polling Donald Trump on post-debate polling Brendan Nyhan on fact checking


Transition team

Is this election bringing out the worst in people? Is it bringing out anyone to vote?l

Monmouth poll on bringing out the worst Gallup on compromise Gallup on high hopes Gallup on interest in voting Pew on views toward the media Mediaite on media vs putin


Grilled cheese, spicy mochas, & the Simpsons

Does Carl mainsplain to Mrs. Krabapple?

Washington Post on grilled cheese The Simpsons, graphed on reddit


Key Findings:

Did you have “poll denialism” on your debate bingo card! We will next time for sure. And everyone get your transition team ready. Not for the next president, but for the rest of america. Never mind m or manterrupting during the debate, what has been happening with the  Simpsons? We had no idea. Maybe Homestar Runner is better?


#83: We can't WEIGHT for you to hear this episode!  

Hello new listener! Come for the 2016 polling, stay for the Brangelexit data. Check out our new website and follow us on Twitter or Facebook. We’re constantly pushing out the latest polls, and your reaction helps us figure out what to talk about.


Poll of the week: Millennials & their furbabies.

Forget about crazy cat ladies, there are now fun catboys. And did you know Kristen wrote the book on Millennials?

Washington Post on Millennials & pets The Selfie Vote



The polls have tightened, but then maybe they’ve loosened? And new open end data from both Pew and Gallup.

Slate average Gallup on news recall NYT on Clinton Foundation Pew on how people feel about the election YouGov on candidate extremism Gallup on confidence in government


Pollsters weigh in on weighting

This was super cool! Really excited both of our firms got to be a part of it.

NYT/Upshot on weighting



Um, we’re going to need some fresh data here.

IMDB poll on Brad vs Angie Brangelina as a nickname YouGov Most admired people of 2016 Vanity Fair/60 Minutes who should adopt your children


Key findings:

Who says Millennials are selfish? Half of millennial guys have cats! Maybe for Clinton no news is good news. If the polls are getting a little too tight for comfort, maybe you need to lose weight? If you don’t like the results of your poll. Just wait? Always good to see fellow pollsters weigh in? Who is going to get more of a post-breakup bounce: Brad or Angelina? We’re on it!!   And welcome new listeners!! Tweet us your complaints.
#82: Today's forecast: hot with a 100%  chance of polls  

Mad-Man style, or Rhoda Morgenstern, either way we love this Medium post & review from Michelle Thomas of Javelina. We forgot all about the cat videos!


Poll of the week: News alerts!

Are you living in a media bubble? You might be if you think *everyone* is living in a bubble. And how many people get news alerts on their phone?

Pew on news alerts NYT/Upshot on "echo chamber" Gallup on lack of trust in the media


Breaking: Morbid, er, Morning Consult poll

This new Morning Consult poll leaves no stone unturned on the presidential health issue.

Morning Consult on candidate health Morning Consult crosstabs


2016! Today’s forecast is...

Today’s forecast looks a lot like yesterday’s forecast.

Huffington Post/pollster averages Slate's poll of poll of polls The Upshot vs. Princeton vs. 538 FiveThirtyEight forecasts RCP vs. Huffington Post average methodology The "Primary Model"


Non-voters & new voters. More myths debunked

Once you look at these Pew numbers, get ready to re-read The Selfie Vote.

Pew on changing party compositions NYT/The Upshot on non-voters


The one poll in the world you could predict with certainty

The internet meme that will never die.

The Daily Mirror on Harambe McHarambeFace


Key Findings

Today’s forecast looks a lot like yesterday’s forecast. But it’s not clear if it’s time yet to get out your umbrella. Lots of myth debunking going on out there. Check your assumptions folks! It’s a good thing we never did an online poll about the name of our show, or it may in fact become those two hens. When 2016 gets a little crazy, reflect on some simpler times, with cat videos, old 70s sitcoms, or back episodes of The Pollsters.
#81: A pollster on every corner  

With Labor Day behind us, we need to turn to Satchmo to make sense of the polling. Don’t miss our interview with the Monkey Cage’s John Sides. If you’re looking for some extra-credit reading on gerrymandering, check out this or this story.


Back to school! Hit the books.

What makes a student love their alma mater? Feeling like a professor “cares about people like you”--almost like in politics. And hit the tablets, or something.

Gallup - Alumni Giving Pew - Reading


2016: Unskew this podcast

Tuesday wasn’t any ordinary day. It was a day with a lot of new, sometimes divergent, polling. We try to figure out what’s going on.

Huffpost Pollster - 2016 General Election: Trump vs. Clinton Huffpost Pollster - 2016 General Election: Trump vs. Clinton vs. Johnson CNN/ORC @Pretefunkera tweet Washington Post/Survey Monkey


Everyone is miserable

Is the campaign still getting you down? We feel you. But have you made a headline juicier than your data suggests? Well, we’re going to call you out then.

Pew - Which candidate they’re against Gallup - GOP which candidate would be good president Ipsos/The Guardian


Polling among Latinos

Lots of new polling among Latinos--are there real differences at work, or differences in methodology?

Latino Decisions Gallup - Clinton Hispanic Advantage Smaller Among U.S-born Hispanics Washington Post on Latinos Huffpost Pollster - 2016 Florida President: Trump vs. Clinton Huffpost Pollster - 2016 Nevada President: Trump vs. Clinton Washington Post/ABC Poll


Is it too late to change our show name to “These Two Hens”?

Spoiler: yes.

The Guardian - Baby names


Key findings:

Pollster culture very dominant. It's causing problems. If you don't do something about it, there will be pollsters on every corner. Which, for a lot of people, might be an improvement over following this election. If you really need a break--hit the books, or hit the tablet. Not such a catchy name. But you know what is a catchy name? The Pollsters, and we don’t regret it one bit.
#80i: John Sides has the keys to the Monkey Cage  

Media polls not enough data for you? Then you'll want to dig even deeper with John Sides & the crack political science team at The Monkey Cage blog. They're one of the top myth-debunkers around, and we were happy to talk to John about some of his past and future proejcts.

Monkey Cage blog at the Washington Post

John Sides on Twitter


#80: Smells like a divided electorate  

Margie squeezes in a few hours of staycation, while Kristen is on the road. But even during a slow week there are still polls to amaze or depress you.


Poll of the week: smells like teen spirit?

What do Milwaukee voters think the election smells like? Um, nothing you'd want to turn into a scratch-n-sniff sticker.

Hart/Annenberg school focus group



The race is tightening! But just a little.

Washington Post/ABC News poll HP: Trump vs. Clinton two-way HP Trump vs. Clinton  vs. Johnson David Plouffe tweets More HP polls HP on college educated whites WP on the White Catholic vote HP/YouGov on ads vs news HP on voters' trust


Trump immigration policy? All of them. Says who?

Is it a softening, or a hardening?

Kristen's examiner column Pew study on immigration Gallup on immigration


Divisions on guns getting wider

Tier-one versus tier-two policies, while party differences widen,

Pew study on guns


Back to school!

Have  you gotten all your polling done in time for the first day

Gallup on satisfaction with schooling Retailmenot


Key findings:

Whether the race is narrowing or staying stable, as far as Margie’s concerned, it’s always time to panic about a potential president trump. There’s common ground on immigration--but maybe not on trump’s different positions on immigration. Meanwhile, don’t worry folks, were also becoming increasingly partisan on guns and education. So there’s that. At least my back to school shopping is done! And this i can promise you: it will be decades before i spend more on my children’s clothes than on my own.
#79i: NBC's Benjy Sarlin & Leigh Ann Caldwell on the future of the GOP  

We talk to NBC political reporters Benjy Sarlin & Leigh Ann Caldwell about their great new longform piece, where they interview a series of GOP leaders on the post-Trump future for the GOP. Listen to the show, read the piece, watch their video & then read the previous installments of their series.

NBC's the future of the GOP Benjy on twitter Leigh Ann on twitter
#78: Says who? The Pollsters. Both of us.  

Our Ron Brownstein interview is the top-downloaded interview we’ve ever done. Thanks everyone! But don’t make our Chuck Todd & Charlie Cook interviews jealous--they are #39 & #44, respectively, if you want to go back & take a listen. (Gotta catch em all.) And as always you can write a review on iTunes or Stitcher, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook to see all the polls we're looking at each week.


Poll of the week: All of them.

We have a new thing, the Brianna Keilar award for Truth Telling in Polls. It belongs to [dramatic pause…]

Brianna Keilar & Michael Cohen "Says who?" WP on why you need to follow The Polls. All of them. Politico on poll deniers after Patrick Murray Trump sand attacks! This is what actual fake research looks like (Triumph the Insult Comic Dog)


Process front & center.

Never mind the issues when there is palace intrigue, rigged polls, and rigged polling booths!

HP on Kellyanne Conway behind the scenes HP on Kellyanne Conway on secret Trump voters HP on YouGov poll on Trump campaign operation Gallup shows worry about vote fraud Pew on vote fraud worries



Oh, the polls. Still bad news for Trump, with a few tiny exceptions. LA Times poll HP/David Rothschild on LA Times poll Trump loves LA Times poll! NBC/Survey Monkey on military families


Burning down the House! And the Senate! One battleground state at a time!

Is it too late to turn the R next to your name on the ballot to some sort of emoji?

Larry Sabato on the Senate Charlie Cook on the Senate HP averages for the Senate HP generic ballot Daily 202 & Rothenberg on House landscape


Time to get out of dodge, wherever that is

You know where the Statue of Liberty is. But how about the Grand Canyon?

Conde Nast Traveler poll


#77: The landslide bringing you down?  

So glad you guys liked our interview with Ron Brownstein--we did too! Also, we have 96 reviews, can we get to a nice round 100? You can write a review on iTunes or Stitcher, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook to see all the polls we're looking at each week.


Poll of the week: DC Insiders, they’re just like us!

Hey, how come we didn’t get called?

Examiner-Echelon Insider poll



The landslide got you down? Well, must be those trash-can polls.

Huffington Post/Pollster 2-way Huffington Post/Pollster 3-way NYT/Upshot on 2016 WashPost on Trump's chance NYT/Upshot what a Clinton landslide would look like WashPost on Gallup study Gallup study on what predicts Trump support NBC/Marist battleground state polls FiveThirtyEight senate polls USA Today/RTV on Millennials


Next up: debates

The debates are coming, and voters already have some preferences.

Pew on debate topics Fix The Debates & IQUS


Get ready to go back to work everyone: Jobs

Are you on vacation, or wrapping up a summer job? Margie & Kristen had some formative jobs that we relive in real-time.

Gallup on women and jobs FiveThirtyEight and summer jobs Most popular industries


Key Findings:

This is election is so crazy, it’s even making Kristen angry. That’s tough y’all! Where does pollster rate on top industries? What about twitter troll? What about podcast guest-host? And don’t let the landslide get you down. Not with so many podcasts to catch up on.


#76i: Ron Brownstein from The Atlantic breaks it way, way down  

Listen & take notes, folks, in our latest interview-only show. Ron Brownstein (The Atlantic/CNN) shows us what it's like to talk polling. And he hadn't even had his morning coffee yet!

Ron Brownstein on Twitter. Brownstein's stories at The Atlantic.

As always, don't forget to write a review of the show on iTunes or Stitcher, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook to see all the polls we're looking at each week.

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