The Pollsters: Public Opinion, Politics and Democratic Leadership

The Pollsters: Public Opinion, Politics and Democratic Leadership

The Pollsters: Public Opinion, Politics and Democratic Leadership

The Pollsters: Public Opinion, Politics and Democratic Leadership

Excerpt

"... There are some things which do so raise our passions, that our Reason can make no Resistance ... I am no longer Master of my better Resolution to let the World alone, and must break loose from my more reasonable Thoughts, to expose these false Coyners, who would make their Copper Wares pass upon us for good Payment." Thus George Savile, Marquis of Halifax, in his preface to a seventeenth-century tract that called for clearer political thinking.

The Copper Wares that the pollsters "pass upon us" for public opinion have raised my passions, but I trust the reader will not think that I have allowed them to rise unduly.

Thus my original preface. I had reversed Pascal's formula that the last thing one settles in writing a book is what one should put in first, and was proceeding on the assumption that the election results in 1948 would be fairly close to the pollsters' predictions. Had not Mr. Elmo Roper announced in September that he would refuse to do any more polling? Governor Thomas E. Dewey was certain of victory. The day before the elec-

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