Voting Polls

Research tools to understand opinions and decisions made by the public in the case of events such as elections.

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What are voting polls?

Voting polls are research tools to understand opinions and decisions made by the public in the case of events such as elections. These polls are conducted with a randomly selected sample within the target population that would be influential in generalizing the opinion received to the entire population.

Voting polls gained popularity in 1824 where straw polls were conducted for the United States Presidency and ever since then these type of polls became extremely sought-after. They have evolved from face-to-face mediums to the medium of telecommunications and now to the medium of internet. Opinions and feedbacks that are usually ignored gain attention when collected using voting polls.

These polls consist of a single, multiple-choice question that would ask the respondents about the candidates or their candidature. Gain insights from the public about their voting views to draw a conclusion about attributes of a specific population. A list of questions can be asked to the public, the answers of which are analyzed for either the entire target population or a sample randomly selected from this population.

Traditionally conducted verbally or using ballot boxes and also electronic clipboards in the recent past, voting polls have slowly evolved to the latest online mediums. Statistical methods are being invented to implement voting polls via online mediums such as social media or blogging websites.

Voting Poll Methods

There are three main voting poll methods:

  1. Benchmark Voting Poll: The primary voting poll conducted in the campaign is called the benchmark voting poll. Generally, it is carried out either prior to the candidature being filed or right after it depending on the funds they collect.

    Irrespective of whether the campaign is political or not, benchmark voting polls serve multiple purposes.

    • Every candidate gets a clear understanding of their stature in the voting race before putting in any efforts in campaigning activities.
    • Depending on the outcome of these polls, a candidate can refrain from applying for candidature, if the results aren’t in their favor.
    • Candidates can know what the electorates who will definitely vote for them and also those who will not vote for them.
    • According to these classifications, candidates know those voters who can be easily convinced to vote for them and also can be a guide to preparing their slogans and messages for their electorate.

  2. Brushfire Voting Poll: This voting poll method is conducted between benchmark and tracking voting polls. The frequency of brushfire polls depends on the budget of the campaign and also on the intensity of competition. The main focus of this voting poll will be how many people are likely to vote for a candidate.

    There are several factors for using Brushfire voting polls:

    • Candidates get to know the progression made in the election campaign along with the demographic information about electorates who will definitely vote for and against them.
    • This voting method can be instrumental in judging which messages and slogans are working well for candidates and also their direct competitors as candidates can take a poll to obtain insights about what the competitors have to say about them in their propagation has any offensive messages. Candidates can take time to prepare their strategies to fight such competition.
    • In this method, a lot of candidates usually force central challengers to give up and join a stronger candidate.

  3. Tracking Voting Poll: Also called the rolling poll, responses are collected frequently across multiple time periods. The results are analyzed using the moving average method of the feedback most recently collected, for instance, in the last week or 10 days.

Scope of Errors in Voting Polls

There are four main types of errors in voting polls which have been developed over course of time which need to be solved to have almost flawless results from the polls.

Voting Poll Questions

The chronological order of the following questions can define the success of a voting poll and the impact of the answers too.

  • In this election, which candidate would you vote for?
  • Are you satisfied with the current president’s performance?
  • Are you inclined to vote in the midterm Congressional elections?

Importance of Voting Polls

How to create Voting Polls?

With poll softwares such as QuestionPro, an electoral candidate can create polls in minutes. Here is a step by step guide on creating a poll with this software.

  1. Create a QuestionPro account and login.

  2. After the candidate logs in, he/she should click on the “Create a Poll” button. Create voting poll
  3. Assign a name to this poll.

    Enter poll name

  4. Once the poll has been given a name, a dashboard will appear which is where the poll question can be edited. This poll can then be sent via social media such as Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter, QR code or embedded on the website.

    Edit voting Poll

  5. Results can be analyzed in real-time from the “Reports” dashboard. Analyze voting poll report
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