In any campaign, from local to national presidential ones, voter contact is very important. Voter contact can be anything from polling to direct mail. Voter contact is necessary in the campaign process and has the potential to provide predictions that are usually very accurate in the election.
According to George Gallup and the Rhetoric of Scientific Democracy by J. Michael Hogan, the first scientific polling was successfully done in 1936, by George Horace Gallup, when it predicted the failure of the Literary Digest’s straw polling. Since then, the family name of Gallup has been linked with polling and plays a tremendous role in the polling industry. Gallup’s legacy is a polling industry with over 2000 organizations that generate more than $4 billion in annual revenue. Gallup died in 1984, but the Gallup poll is linked to hundreds of news channels and does exclusive work for many of the major news networks, such as CNN and Fox News.
Polls are extremely popular during election season, and many people keep up with them regularly. One website that runs a very popular poll is FiveThirtyEight, and they have a reputation for being very accurate and reliable. My favorite thing about their 2016 General Election Forecast is the interactivity of it. There are options to change the states to go to different candidates, so it creates a lot of room for “what-if” scenarios and situations. It currently has Clinton with an over 88% chance of winning. The map breaks down who is ahead in each state and by how many votes. Although the website is very user-friendly, there is also a guide that informs readers of how they collect and interpret the data that was used to make these conclusions. I have been using this polling website since August, and have thoroughly enjoyed reading all of the information that it gives. I recommend all potential voters to check it out as Election Day approaches.