Ariel Edwards-Levy Profile picture
Senior reporter + polling editor @HuffPostPol, covering public opinion and keeping (cross)tabs on the news. LA native. I like puns.
Buck Borasky, Frontier Programmer Profile picture 1 added to My Authors
13 Jan
One thing that's probably worth mentioning as impeachment polling starts to come out: Until we have a better sense of factors behind 2020 election polling error, can't discount that some of the same factors are affecting non-election political surveys.
To the extent there was a likely-voter-model problem, that's not a factor. But differential non-response very well could be.

Reasonable hypothesis that national impeachment polling might understate opposition by up to 3-4 points.
Compared to elections (where slim margins can be crucial), something like 39% opposition vs. 42% opposition isn't as meaningfully different.

But it's probably a good reminder that all these numbers are, by definition, estimates.
Read 6 tweets
13 Jan
in most other presidencies we do not impeach even once

why, in this presidency, do we impeach twice
(because twitter is bad at rhetorical questions, I feel like I need to stipulate ahead of time that this is a riff on the Four Questions)
with regret, I inform you that people are not reading the stipulation
Read 5 tweets
29 Dec 20
Dem voters say, 43% to 33%, Biden should compromise to work with GOP. GOP voters say, 54% to 25%, that Republicans in Washington should stick to their positions.

huffpost.com/entry/bipartis…
That same asymmetry shows up in voters' expectations: Dem voters think that Biden will work with GOP (but not vice versa), while GOP voters don't expect either side to work together.

huffpost.com/entry/bipartis…
Sort of an interesting crosstab: how likely Dem voters think it is that GOP will work with Biden vs. whether they think Biden should try to work with GOP. Even those who think he should compromise are mostly bearish it will be reciprocated.
Read 4 tweets
9 Nov 20
It is going to be really interesting to see if/how this affects public opinion over the next couple of months.

Right now, we're in a place with clear partisan divides for preventative measures, but nevertheless still pretty broad public support across the board.
One scenario I've worried about: With Trump's messaging so inconsistent, many Trump voters focused on the more pro-restriction things he said, which aligned with their own beliefs. (See this from July.)
With a Dem president advocating for preventative measures, is there any possibility of some backlash effect? Probably depends to some extent on who the loudest GOP voices are, and what message they're putting forward.
Read 4 tweets
7 Nov 20
I don't have a ton to add to the polling discussion at the moment -- want to get a lot more information before I start theorizing in detail about what happened, or what that means for polling in the future.
Here's an initial writeup, to which I'll add a few personal thoughts:

huffpost.com/entry/presiden…
I think there are two main issues here: the communication and the data. Polling is an inexact snapshot, and this level of error was always a possibility.
Read 9 tweets
3 Nov 20
Exit polls!
-Yes, they're happening this year
-A lot of the work was done prior to Election Day
-Final results not foolproof, but provide useful data about the electorate
-Don't try to use early results to guess who's going to win
-Especially this year

huffpost.com/entry/2020-ear…
One of the big advantages of finalized exit polls is that they're weighted to the actual results of the election, rather than our best guess of what the electorate will look like.

As we all know by now, this year it'll while to get the actual results of the election.
Additional reading, via @jennagiesta: cnn.com/2020/11/02/pol…
Read 5 tweets
1 Nov 20
These three things are true, and yet all of them are most likely entirely unrelated to the concept of "shy Trump voters."
Polling errors are indeed real! They could favor either Trump or Biden! If they do favor Trump, it's still probably not because of social desirability bias!
I do not understand why this is the one concept to which the Discourse has latched onto like a remora.
Read 6 tweets
1 Nov 20
More of this kind of contextualizing of results, please.

cnn.com/2020/10/31/pol…
Pollsters should stand by their results, and journalists should help readers understand the broader context of the data they're providing. These are good examples of simultaneously doing both.
Read 5 tweets
30 Oct 20
New HuffPost/YouGov poll: Here's what voters say their top issues are for this year's election -- and how it compares to what they think the two campaigns care about.

huffpost.com/entry/voters-t… ImageImage
I get into this more in the story, but: there are a lot of reasons to use caution when analyzing top-issue polls. One thing I DO think they can be useful for is gauging which campaign messages are resonating or not.

huffpost.com/entry/voters-t…
We've been asking this question biennially since 2014. A few things that stand out to me this year:
-Immigration is WAY down in salience from 2018
-Trump's messaging on crime is just not resonating, even with his supporters

huffpost.com/entry/voters-t…
Read 4 tweets
30 Oct 20
You know all those articles that start off with things like "Obviously, we're all freaking out about the election right now"?

New FDU poll: "Only 32 percent of Americans who are following the election very closely report high levels of stress"

view2.fdu.edu/publicmind/202…
(I really dislike chatty first-person-plural ledes that make casual, sweeping assumptions about one's readership)
Also interesting: "It might seem like paying close attention to this year’s Presidential election would lead to higher levels of stress, but paying close attention to the race is actually correlated with lower levels of perceived stress."
Read 4 tweets
29 Oct 20
what Image
The Gallup analysis linked here is talking about the way that framing can affect issue questions.

This does...not generally apply to ballot tests?

I don't even know where metaphors come into it.
?????????? Image
Read 5 tweets
23 Oct 20
New HuffPost/YouGov poll: Most voters think social media platforms have a responsibility to prevent users from spreading conspiracy theories/false information. Big partisan gap, but also an age divide.

huffpost.com/entry/poll-fac… ImageImage
GOP voters mostly believe social media platforms are biased against conservative views, while a modest plurality of Dem voters see them as neutral.

huffpost.com/entry/poll-fac… Image
Voters are pretty divided on whether it's a good or bad thing for elected officials to be on social media, but they're more likely to think Trump's tweets hurt than help him. huffpost.com/entry/poll-fac… ImageImage
Read 5 tweets
23 Oct 20
I realize this is beating a dead horse, but...SSRS, CNN's pollster, also conducts some of their polling online (their post-debate poll was phone, but includes call-backs of voters originally reached through SSRS's panel). "Online" is not the problem here!
CNN/SSRS methodology: cnn.com/2020/10/22/pol…
I realize this seems nitpicky, but I think it runs the risk of being genuinely confusing as the industry moves toward different modes. Gallup is doing online polling. Pew is doing online polling. AP is doing online polling. Etc.
Read 6 tweets
23 Oct 20
Twitter polls are not representative of what people thought of the debate and focus groups are not representative of what people thought of the debate -- I know you all know this, but I just realized I'm not going to get to say this again for ages.
no worries, I can still be a condescending scold about the SotU
While I'm at it: snap polls are a more-or-less reasonable gauge of who watched the debate, but "debate watchers" is not the same sample universe as "the electorate."
Read 4 tweets
23 Oct 20
extremely tempted to poll the presidential race with a crosstab for which floor people live on
has there ever been a more frequently discussed and rarely polled demographic than the basement dweller?
the basement base
Read 4 tweets
26 Jul 20
Because this is a good use of time on Saturday night, I want to just pull out this 2016 post-mortem from the pollsters' professional org (full disclosure, I'm a member), which examines in depth the possibility for a shy Trump vote.

Short version: tests “yielded no evidence.”
1. If "shy Trump" voters were a major factor, support for Trump should have been greater in polls that didn't use live interviewers.

"[I]nterviewer administered polls did not under-estimate Trump’s support more than self-administered IVR and online surveys"
Read 13 tweets
2 Jul 20
Not to belabor this point, but I think some people kind of are overestimating the amount of mask-avoidance that's overtly driven by vanity/embarrassment or ideological hostility.
What distinguishes the people who aren't wearing masks:
-They reject the framing as a public health issue
-They're more likely to believe there's no public health benefits
Obviously, holding that latter set of beliefs is still intrinsically tied up with partisanship, but it's a little different from "masks are for weaklings" or "not wearing a mask to own the libs."
Read 9 tweets
20 May 20
We've got a new set of HuffPost/YouGov polling on masks. If this was supposed to be the new front in a culture war...someone apparently forgot to tell most of the public.

huffpost.com/entry/face-mas…
There are still significant partisan and demographic divides, but they’re not so pronounced as to leave the two parties diametrically opposed. Rather, the gap is a matter of degrees.
Americans say, 62% to 29%, wearing masks is a matter of public health, not personal choice.

Most say wearing a mask is equally or more about protecting others than oneself.

huffpost.com/entry/face-mas…
Read 13 tweets
15 May 20
New HuffPost/YouGov poll on coronavirus restrictions:

huffpost.com/entry/poll-reo…
I talk about this a bit in the piece, but, as states are starting to re-open, I wanted to compare binary questions (states should/should not close) with ones that include more middle options.
Americans say 67% to 21%, state stay-at-home orders are the right decision.

In another question, 30% want to see their area remain entirely shut down, 46% some re-openings, 12% all restrictions lifted.
Read 11 tweets
20 Apr 20
There’s a new silent majority in America: the millions of people who have remained quietly withdrawn from public life in an effort to stem the nation’s coronavirus outbreak.

New HuffPost/YouGov poll finds continued, broad support for stay-at-home orders: huffpost.com/entry/poll-cor…
In a poll taken Friday-Sunday:
-86% of Americans were trying to stay home
-78% called state stay-at-home orders right decision
-65% would stay home regardless of restrictions
-60% more worried about states reopening too quickly than too slowly

huffpost.com/entry/poll-cor…
Read 8 tweets
28 Feb 20
The survey, it turns, out, does not say this!

What it says:
-38% of beer drinkers say they wouldn't buy Corona (for any reason at all, including, presumably...they prefer other beer)
-4% of people who usually drink Corona say they would stop

prnewswire.com/news-releases/…
Methodology listed from 5WPR is "a survey via phone of 737 American beer drinkers over the age of 21 on February 25 & 26, 2020."
Meanwhile, YouGov sees negative "buzz" for Corona (which could include...stories like that CNN one!) and a dip in "purchase intent," but notes "the summer-y beverage...does see substantial seasonal fluctuation"

today.yougov.com/topics/food/ar…
Read 15 tweets