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Blogs Wonderfully Awash in Polling Data

If you’re a political and news junkie like me–and many others here at the Berkman center–then the political blogosphere is a godsend, especially during this election season. While often criticized for being the online equivalent of screaming cable news hosts, bloggers have been way out ahead of traditional media in their analysis of trends and polling data. Bloggers like Daily Kos have actually commissioned their own daily poll and release all of the internals, while traditional media only routinely do a story based on polls they pay for themselves, and don’t release internals. Kos apparently decided to commission his own poll so that he could see all the poll data, and, more importantly, release it on the Web for everyone to see (talk about taking on a role traditionally left to mainstream media, and doing it better and faster).

As Election Day approaches, there are now so many polls it can be tough to keep track, but luckily’s ‘roll-up averages’ of all the polls helps, and they’ve also got state by state poll results.

And tracking all this data has led me to what seems to me the best polling blogger out there–Nate Silver at Tons of data, but more importantly, great analysis; including his posts today on ‘undecideds.’ and Senate projections. Amazingly, the site only went live seven months ago and has gone from 80 visits a day to almost 700,000.

Of course, what is perhaps most reassuring in all of this from the perspective of this little experiment we call American democracy, is that negative campaign tactics of late are not working in the presidential campaign. Just check out the trend lines on any of these polls. If there is one thing that turns off voters around the world to democracy, it’s election campaigns without substance, and especially mudslinging and attack ads. Let’s hope both sides pull back from those tactics in the final weeks of the campaign.

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2 Responses to “Blogs Wonderfully Awash in Polling Data”

  1. » We’ll Be Studying This Election For Years I&D Blog Says:

    […] Polling: More addictive than crack, FiveThirtyEight and other sites have told us more about polls than we […]

  2. UrtakFan Says:

    I love this new website that I found! is a polling site that has a bunch of surveys that people have created about all sorts of topics. The coolest thing is that even the surveyed can insert questions into an existing survey. Check it out!