Analyzing Election Polls 101



In this webinar, ElectionSOS’s Christiana Lilly, who also forms part of Florida’s chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, joins the ElectionSOS Fellows to outline ways to consider polling in this unique election. Watch this webinar if you plan on covering this election and want to navigate the confusing world of poll-watching.

(Almost) everything you need to know about analyzing polls

  • Vet the agency that conducted the polling — are they reliable and reputable?
  • Be sure to always read the methodology of the poll that was conducted: how many people were polled, how it was done, where it was done, what’s margin of error. Share this with your readers for transparency.
  • How a poll is conducted is important. Phone calls are considered the most reliable, and the introduction of SMS polling is an interesting method that we should keep an eye on.
  • Outliers are not reliable to be a headline — you want to look at the average of polls that were conducted by different agencies and news outlets. There may have been an error.
  • Compare polls asking the same questions over a period of time to see how people’s views have changed.

Next Steps: