Polar Poll 2020

The results of this year’s “Polar Poll” (the student poll I field yearly with my students in Gov 2080: Quantitative Analysis in Political Science) are available here.  The link provides the marginal distributions for all of the questions we asked.  I’ll be digging into some additional analysis in the coming weeks, which I’ll post and write about.

Not unexpected, but the response rate this year was lower than in previous years.  We always randomly sample 500 student emails, and here are the responses from recent years:

2015: 321 students responses

2016: 372

2017: 336

2018: 294

2020: 262

Some of the lower rate of response is surely from the COVID-19 crisis (as students moved off-campus and turned their energies to other matters), but as you can see, 2018 also had a lower rate than in previous years.  Students are bombarded with surveys from across the campus (e.g., for other classes, from administrative offices, by the student paper, etc) and so my attempts to poll students competes with that congestion.  Still, that’s not unlike real-world polling challenges.  This year we have a 52% response rate, which is still quite strong.

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