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Going Too Far: The American Public's Attitudes toward Protest Movements

Huffington Post Pollster
Going Too Far: The American Public's Attitudes toward Protest Movements
By Paul Herrnson, Executive Director of the Roper Center and
Kathleen Weldon, Research Coordinator of the Roper Center
October 22, 2014

But perhaps because personal experience with protest is rare - just 10% said they had ever participated in a protest in a 2013 AP/Gfk Knowledge ...
Posted: Oct 23 2014


Clark University Harrington lecturer Herrnson cites the benefits of incumbency

Clark News Hub - Clark University
Harrington lecturer cites incumbency?s advantages in congressional elections
October 22, 2014

Herrnson said challengers simply don't enjoy the advantages accorded to someone who already is in office. "It's all catch-up [for a challenger]," he said. As such, incumbent campaigns are generally run from a defensive posture: avoid scandal, stay the course, and hope your challenger runs out of money.
Posted: Oct 22 2014


J. Toscano explains How to Win an Election

On Wednesday, October 8th, the Roper Center was proud to sponsor a lecture by J. Toscano, a partner at GMMB, a leading political consulting firm which conducts political and public interest campaigns. In his presentation "How to Win: Campaign Strategy and Communications," he offered students insights into the crafting of campaign messages and political ads.

Using a number of GMMB's emotionally powerful ads as examples, Toscano emphasized the importance of research in developing a strategic roadmap for a successful campaign. Increasingly, campaigns are using consumer data and sophisticated software along with traditional polling data and voter histories to target subgroups of voters for specific ads. Selectively dropping TV ads into satellite and cable TV shows based on individual viewer preferences can result in two neighbors who are watching the same show viewing different campaign ads. Because only 6-20% of the electorate can be moved by campaign tactics, numbers which diminish over the course of the election cycle, it is important that voters receive messages on the issues they consider the most important.

The "how" of targeting is as important as the "who." Analytics combined with gut instincts guide all advertising decisions. Positive ads which establish the politician?s vision, accomplishments or goals are the least common, run most frequently at the beginning of the campaign to create a political identity for a candidate. Values spots describe who the candidate is personally, and why they are running. Contrast spots, more commonly called "negative ads" are the most common.


Toscano defended the ubiquity of negative ads, saying, "People claim to hate them, but again and again we find they are most effective. People often say these are what they remember when they enter the voting booth."



Effective they may be, but Toscano warned that such ads can backfire if they are not well-designed. Personal stories or the use of humor can ease the sting of an attack ad and prevent a backlash effect in which opponents become more motivated than potential supporters. In the worst case, outside money might be drawn into the race in the form of PACs.

Independent expenditure ads now make up 56% of the campaign advertising, which can become an issue itself in a tough campaign. Toscano shared multiple ads that criticized the connection between the opposing candidate and outside money ? specifically, money from the Koch brothers, who are portrayed in the ads as having an inappropriate level of involvement in funding advertising for state candidates.

Students asked Toscano many questions, including how the company decides which campaigns to work for, what percentage of their candidates are successful (about 80%), and how the effectiveness of an ad is determined. GMMB uses multiple methods to evaluate the success of an ad, including tracking polls.
Posted: Oct 14 2014


Money, Politics and the American Public

Huffington Post
Money, Politics and the American Public
By Paul Herrnson, Executive Director of the Roper Center and
Kathleen Weldon, Research Coordinator of the Roper Center
October 14, 2014

Observers of the American political scene have long denigrated politicians' reliance on money and the donors who provide it. The influence of money in politics in general and campaigns in particular is a staple of op-ed writers, late-night comedians and armchair pundits. As another Federal Election Commission reporting deadline looms, how bad does the public really think the problem is ? and what are they willing to do about it?
Posted: Oct 14 2014


2014 Election Polling: A Post-Mortem and Look to the Future

Co-sponsored by DC-AAPOR:

November 13, 2014, a panel of industry leaders will look back over the year, digest the results and the performance of the new methodologies, and examine their implications from different points of view.
The panel:
  • Anna Greenberg - Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research
  • Bill McInturff - Public Opinion Strategies
  • Stu Rothenberg - Rothenberg Political Report
  • Frank Newport - Gallup Poll
  • Susan Pinkus - Formerly of LA Times poll will chair the panel
Read about the panelists and post-mortem logistics
Posted: Oct 08 2014


The Public and Ebola: What the Polls Say

Huffington Post
The Public and Ebola: What the Polls Say
By Paul Herrnson, Executive Director of the Roper Center and
Kathleen Weldon, Research Coordinator of the Roper Center
October 6, 2014

The news stories now follow a familiar pattern: an outbreak of a new and frightening disease on another continent, the first cases found in the U.S., the speculation about the risk to the American population. The public has experienced this before: first SARS, then several waves of H1N1, and now Ebola. What did the public think during these earlier outbreaks, and what are they thinking now?
Posted: Oct 07 2014


Christie Works Phone Bank, Stresses Ground Game

Hartford Courant
Christie Works Phone Bank, Stresses Ground Game
By Jenny Wilson
October 6, 2014

Herrnson described Christie as a "very popular, moderate governor," and said having him place calls to registered Republicans in the state is a "great way to draw attention to a campaign and at the same token shine the limelight away from the other campaign."
Posted: Oct 07 2014


A Talk on the 2014 Congressional Elections

Clark University Campus News & Events
A Talk on the 2014 Congressional Elections
By Judith Barton
September 30, 2014

On October 21, 2014 at Clark University's Tilton Hall, Paul S. Herrnson, Professor of Political Science at the University of Connecticut and the Executive Director of the Roper Center will be talking about the 2014 congressional elections.  The lecture is at 4:30 PM and is open to the public.
Posted: Sep 30 2014


Love, Marriage and the Vatican: Americans' Attitudes about Marriage and the Catholic Church

Huffington Post
Love, Marriage and the Vatican: Americans' Attitudes about Marriage and the Catholic Church
Paul Herrnson, Executive Director
Kathleen Weldon, Research Manager
September 29, 2014

Next week, the world's Catholic bishops will descend upon Rome for an Extraordinary General Council of the Synod. This rare meeting of church leaders has been convened by Pope Francis, who has signaled a willingness to change the Church's direction to meet contemporary challenges to family and marriage. 
Posted: Sep 29 2014


Two Dozen Key Races May Decide Control of Maine State House

Portland Press Herald
Two Dozen Key Races May Decide Control of Maine State House
By Steve Mistler
September 22, 2014

"Unlike the campaign for votes, the campaign for resources has become increasingly nationalized," said University of Connecticut political science professor Paul Herrnson, referring to the dispersion of outside money into state-level campaigns.

Posted: Sep 22 2014


The Public and Proposed Constitutional Amendments: We Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change

Huffington Post Pollster
The Public and Proposed Constitutional Amendments: We Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change
By Paul Herrnson and Kathleen Weldon
September 15, 2014

"In general, the public reject the idea that the Constitution requires significant updating."
Posted: Sep 15 2014


As Primary Nears, Connecticut GOP Sees Weak Malloy

Wall Street Journal, Eastern edition
As Primary Nears, Connecticut GOP Sees Weak Malloy
By Joseph De Avila
August 8, 2014

"Foley has a strong lead, but primary elections are somewhat unpredictable because you aren't relying on the public, you are relying on" a party's most devoted base, said Paul Herrnson, executive director of the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research at the University of Connecticut.

Posted: Sep 02 2014


Public Attitudes About Labor Unions, 1936 -Today

Huffington Post Pollster
Public Attitudes About Labor Unions, 1936-Today
By Kathleen Weldon, Research Coordinator for the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research
August 29, 2014

Gallup has been asking the public about their approval of labor unions since 1936. Support for unions has drifted slowly downward since its early peaks. However majorities (54%) still express approval in the most recent poll.

"The public's general approval of unions has diminished, but there remains a core level of support," said Paul Herrnson, Executive Director of the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research.
Posted: Sep 02 2014


Primary campaigns cost almost $25 million

The Baltimore Sun
Primary campaigns cost almost $25 million 
By Michael Dresser
August 27, 2014

Paul Herrnson, who heads the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research at the University of Connecticut, said independent conservative groups will be watching Hogan's poll numbers and finances to decide whether to invest in the governor's race in heavily Democratic Maryland.
Posted: Aug 28 2014


Roper on WNPR News - Where We Live: This Is Your Brain on Poverty

This Is Your Brain on Poverty
By John Dankosky, Tucker Ives, Lydia Brown & Catie Talarski, WNPR News

Guests discuss the psychology of poverty and what's being done to combat the stresses it brings on as well as the impact of noise pollution on the brain development of children in low-income communities.

  • Kathleen Weldon - Research Coordinator for the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research at UConn
  • Johannes Haushofer - Assistant Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs at Princeton University
  • Elisabeth Babcock - Chief Executive of Crittenton Women's Union
  • Kia Levey - Project Director of The New Haven MOMS Partnership
  • Erika Skoe, Ph.D. - Assistant Professor in the Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences at UConn

Listen to "This is Your Brain on Poverty" now.
Posted: Aug 21 2014


Roper on WNPR News - Where We Live: Getting Frank About Political Mail

Getting Frank About Political Mail
By John Dankosky, Tucker Ives, Lydia Brown & Catie Talarski, WNPR News

Guests discuss the topic of constituent mailing privileges, a practice called "franking."

  • Paul Herrnson - Executive Director of the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research and Professor of Political Science at the University of Connecticut
  • Clark Chapin - State Senator for Connecticut's 30th Senate District
  • Pete Sepp - President of the National Taxpayers Union

Listen to the story of "franking" now.
Posted: Aug 11 2014


Roper in the News

Connecticut Republicans Trade Barbs as Primary Nears
Joseph De Avila, Wall Street Journal
... primary elections are somewhat unpredictable because you aren't relying on the public, you are relying on" a party's most devoted base, said Paul Herrnson, executive director of the Roper Center... Read more from Paul here
Posted: Aug 08 2014


Connecticut Republicans Trade Barbs as Primary Nears

Wall Street Journal
Connecticut Republicans Trade Barbs as Primary Nears;
Businessman Foley Is Front-Runner Over Senate Leader McKinney
By Joseph De Avila
August 7, 2014

"Foley has a strong lead, but primary elections are somewhat unpredictable because you aren't relying on the public, you are relying on" a party's most devoted base, said Paul Herrnson, executive director of the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research at the University of Connecticut.
Posted: Aug 07 2014


"After Legislative Defeat, Gun Owners Aim For Election Successes"

Paul Herrnson interviewed for The Hartford Courant article, "After Legislative Defeat, Gun Owners Aim For Election Successes," Mobilizing For First Statewide Vote Since Historic Gun Control Bill Enacted, by Jenny Wilson (July 28, 2014)
"gun rights issue is one that will definitely play a big role in the Republican primary. ? It is an issue that brings the activists out."
Read more of Paul's insights into the role of gun rights in the coming election.
Posted: Jul 28 2014


SAA Annual Meeting: Roper Center Presentation at the Metadata and Digital Objects Roundtable Meeting

Title: 
What are We Thinking?: Using Faceted Classification and Tagging to Enhance Subject Access to the Public Mind

Abstract: 
The Roper Center for Public Opinion Research collects, preserves, and makes available data generated in the public opinion survey research industry. We are enhancing subject access to our data by transitioning from a static topic-assignment system to one that employs faceted classification and tagging. This presentation will provide an overview of the technical and conceptual challenges the Roper Center has faced in developing and implementing a subject taxonomy for the diverse and inherently controversial public opinion domain, as well as offer tips for anyone thinking about embarking on a taxonomy project of their own.

Meeting details:
Wednesday, August 13, 5:15-7:15PM
Washington, DC


Full meeting agenda here. Follow SAA 2014 on Twitter at #saa14.
Posted: Jul 28 2014


Andrew Kohut Named Winner of the 2014 Warren J. Mitofsky Award

The Roper Center's Board of Directors is delighted to announce the 2014 Warren Mitofsky Award for Excellence in Public Opinion Research will be awarded to Andrew Kohut, preeminent public opinion pollster who has made a profound contribution to the understanding of politics and public affairs, both in the US and globally. Whether commentating on National Public Radio or the PBS NewsHour or providing quotes for the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Washington Post or scores of other media outlets, Mr. Kohut is known for his gravitas and unbiased, wise, insightful analysis of how the collective public views a vast variety of subjects.

Learn more about the Mitofsky Award and this year's recipient.

Posted: Jul 17 2014


ASA Poster Session: Voices of the Democracy Over 75 Years

American Sociological Association
Event 290 Research Funding Opportunities and Data Resources
Time: Sunday, August 17, 1:00 - 4:00 pm
Title: Voices of the Democracy Over 75 Years
This poster will demonstrate the breadth of the polling collections archived at the Roper Center, documenting the voices of the people over more than seven decades.
Posted: Jul 17 2014


APSA - Roper Center sponsored roundtables

Bringing 75 Years of Public Opinion Data into the Classroom 
Professors have unprecedented opportunities to incorporate public opinion data into their classes. Some public opinion archives now feature online access to survey questions, frequency distributions, crosstabs, online analysis tools, and datasets. These can be invaluable when preparing lectures, classroom exercises, or student research paper assignments for a range of courses, including a basic introduction to political science or American politics, campaigns and elections, public opinion and voting behavior, and research methods. This roundtable draws on the expertise of faculty members who have used archived public opinion data in their classes and Roper Center staff who have developed the center?s archive, analysis tools, and educational support programs. Attendees will be eligible for a free trial membership with the Roper Center.

Chair:
Paul Herrnson, Executive Director of the Roper Center

Panelists:
George E. Marcus, Professor of Political Science, Williams College
Greg M. Shaw, Professor, Department of Political Science, Illinois Wesleyan University
Lois Timms-Ferrara, Associate Director, Roper Center
Marc Maynard, Technical Director, Roper Center


Using Archived Data to Study Public Opinion and American Political Development
Current public opinion polls, like news headlines, provide valuable information about politics, but historical coverage is needed to get a fuller understanding of most important issues and events. For example, one cannot fully comprehend reactions to recent voter identification laws without knowing about the 1965 Voting Rights Act and the discriminatory practices it was intended to address. Similarly, understanding the dynamics behind the party realignment on civil rights requires that scholars understand the nature of the linkages among party, economic views, and civil rights in the decades preceding the 1960s. In this panel, Adam Berinsky and Eric Schickler discuss how through weighting, recoding, and reanalyzing archived public opinion data they were able to create new insights into the forces that drive public opinion and propel American politics. Suzanne Mettler and David Mayhew will comment on the strengths and weaknesses of Berinsky?s and Schickler?s approach, reflect on its implications for research on public opinion and American political development, and discuss their own experiences and views on studying these subjects.

Chair:
Paul Herrnson, Executive Director of the Roper Center

Panelists:
2013 Mitofsky Award Winners:
Adam J. Berinsky , Professor , Department of Political Science , Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Eric Schickler, Jeffrey & Ashley McDermott Professor of Political Science, University of California, Berkeley

Others:
David Mayhew, Sterling Professor of Political Science & Institute of Social and Policy Studies, Yale
Suzanne Mettler, Clinton Rossiter Professor of American Institutions, Cornell University

Posted: Jul 17 2014


Kathleen Weldon newest staff member

Kathleen WeldonKathleen Weldon is has joined the Roper Center as Research Coordinator for a new research unit that uses the rich data resources of the Center to illuminate questions about the public's views on important issues.

A graduate of Wesleyan University with a degree in English, she started her career in public opinion at Harvard designing surveys with media and foundation partners. Kathleen is a member of AAPOR and currently serves as the program planning chair for NEAPOR.

Posted: Jul 16 2014


The Civil Rights Act of 1964 Revisited

"The Civil Rights Act of 1964 Revisited" which was published in UConn Today was picked up by US Official News on July 15, 2014.  The article quotes Paul Herrnson, Executive Director of the Roper Center, and includes polling data from iPOLL Databank surveys including CBS News, CNN, Gallup Organization, Pew Research Center, New York Times, Institute for International Social Research, and USA Today.
Posted: Jul 16 2014




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