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Terms and Conditions Update 2015

In January, we informed our members that the end-user Terms & Conditions were going to have some modest changes. We would like you to have an opportunity to review these terms before they go into effect in April 2015. View the new Terms & Conditions.
Posted: Feb 26 2015


Featured Dataset: Pew Global's India Winter 2014 Survey

How big of a threat are extremist groups to India and her neighbors?  Do you approve of drone usage by the United States? Are the punishments for convicted rapists tough enough?  Should homosexuality be accepted by society?  Find out what 2,464 Indians have to say in Pew Research Center's Winter 2014 Survey about politics, morality, and international affairs.  Conducted between December 7th, 2013 and January 12th, 2014 in eight different languages, the survey covers questions about economic disparity, ties with Pakistan, the behaviors of world superpowers, the morality of various actions, and many other hot-topic political issues.

Explore this fascinating data recently acquired by The Roper Center, along with other datasets that are part of the multi-country Pew Research Global Attitudes Project.
Posted: Feb 03 2015


Roper Center Adopts Digital Preservation Policy

The Roper Center is pleased to announce the adoption of the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research Digital Preservation Policy. This policy formalizes the Roper Center's organizational commitment to ensuring sustainable, long-term access to the public opinion data we acquire. It identifies the principles and objectives that guide the Roper Center's preservation strategies and planning.

The development of this policy was influenced by similar documents from The Odum Institute, the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR), the University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries, and Yale University Library.

Roper Center staff members Elise Dunham, Cindy Teixeira, and Marc Maynard would like to thank Ann Green, Digital Lifecycle Consultant and Strategic Analyst, for collaborating with us throughout the development of this policy.
Posted: Feb 02 2015


Featured Collection: Roper Fortune

Under the direction of survey pioneer Elmo Roper, the Roper Organization conducted the landmark Fortune studies:  over seventy survey projects undertaken between 1938 and 1949.  These were formative years for both public opinion research and for America at large.  The success and scope of these polls secured Roper as one of the forefathers of the field.  Explore all that the historical Roper Fortune collection has to offer.
Posted: Jan 07 2015


Pay It Back: The Public and the Student Loan System

Huffington Post
Pay It Back: The Public and the Student Loan System
By Kathleen Weldon, Research Manager for the Roper Center
November 24, 2014

Among the Americans struggling most in the current economy are recent college grads carrying significant educational debt. As millennials navigate lowered employment prospects with larger student loans than young people of earlier decades, the U.S. system for funding higher education has come under scrutiny. What does the public think about how the country pays for college?
Posted: Nov 24 2014


Featured Dataset: Pew Research Center's 2013 Survey of LGBT Adults

The Roper Center is pleased to announce the release of the Pew Research Center Poll: 2013 Survey of LGBT Adults. This dataset, originally published in April 2013, surveys gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Americans and contains question topics related to their sexual orientation and identity. The survey includes questions regarding respondents' coming out experience, observations on societal acceptance of the LGBT community, and discrimination due to sexual preference. This recently collected data provides insight into the American LGBT community and illustrates the rapid evolution of the gay rights movement in the United States. The data was collected between April 11-29, 2013 among a national sample of 1197 self-identified gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender adults.

Explore the unique data this survey provides and learn more about the opinions of LGBT Americans.
Posted: Nov 20 2014


A Hero's Welcome: the American Public and Attitudes about Veterans

Huffington Post Pollster
A Hero's Welcome: the American Public and Attitudes about Veterans
By Paul Herrnson, Executive Director of the Roper Center and
Kathleen Weldon, Research Coordinator of the Roper Center
November 7, 2014

In 1946, Gallup asked a sample of veterans if the government had given them, as veterans, all the help they thought it should. Strong majorities of those who saw combat in WWI (75%) and WWII (69%) said that it had. In July 2011, Pew again asked veterans this question, and again a majority (61%) said yes.
Posted: Nov 07 2014


When the Wall Came Tumbling Down: The American Public and Berlin

Huffington Post Pollster
When the Wall Came Tumbling Down: The American Public and Berlin
By Paul Herrnson, Executive Director of the Roper Center and
Kathleen Weldon, Research Coordinator of the Roper Center
November 6, 2014

After the Second World War, Germany was split into four sectors under control of U.S., U.K., French and Russian authorities. Berlin, located in the Soviet Occupation zone, was also divided, requiring people and supplies to cross the Russian-controlled area to enter the western parts of the city.
Posted: Nov 06 2014


In Maryland's eight congressional races, incumbents face little competition

The Washington Post
In Maryland's eight congressional races, incumbents face little competition
By Arelis R. Hernandez
November 1, 2014

Regardless of the outcome of any given race, the political process is made better when incumbents are challenged, said Paul Herrnson, executive director of the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research at the University of Connecticut.

"These people who run in these lopsided districts do voters a tremendous service," Herrnson said, "by being out there and raising issues that may otherwise have gone unheard."
Posted: Nov 01 2014


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




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