written by Hannah Flood, ’20
Meredith College’s student-run survey of N.C. voters, The Meredith Poll, continues to gain local and national acclaim as a credible source of data on political and election-related topics.
Launched in 2015, the Meredith Poll is North Carolina’s only research organization to focus primarily on women’s political and social issues. Since its founding, The Meredith Poll has often been cited as a source of reliable data by local communities and organizations.
The results from the latest Meredith Poll were released on February 27, including data from N.C. voters on topics of presidential nominees, voting safety, and women politicians. The findings of The Meredith Poll were published preceding Super Tuesday, the day on which many states held their primary elections to determine likely presidential nominees. With North Carolina being so prominent in the nominating process, results from The Meredith Poll were highly anticipated. The results accurately predicted voters’ preferences for the Democratic and Republican nominees for president, U.S. Senate, and governor. In addition, the results surfaced some trends in voter attitudes that will affect the November elections.
Shortly after the results of The Meredith Poll were published, news outlets such as The News & Observer, The Hill, The Charlotte Observer, and WNCT released articles citing the findings of the poll. These articles specifically noted the data on presidential candidates, voters’ opinions of women candidates, and election security, as well as result analysis from Meredith Poll Director and Professor of Political Science at Meredith College David McLennan.
The Meredith Poll involves students throughout the process. Students, under the direction of McLennan and Assistant Director and Associate Professor of Political Science Whitney Ross Manzo, help choose topics and write questions for the Poll. Students collect the data from the telephone portion of the survey and some students assist with the data analysis.
“It is important for students to understand public opinion research as a process,” said McLennan, “and that is why we have always integrated students throughout the process.”