Political Elections In The Election Of 1948 And 1960

1249 Words 5 Pages
The Election of 1948 and the twenty years that followed were the years that saw the beginning of political polling on a wide scale, and how wrong it can be. Each election has its own unique characteristics, but the presidential elections of 1948 and 1960 will be looked at in detail, along with a general overview of the methods, usage of polling results, and the failure of the polls. Each election year mentioned had their own peculiarity in one or more of the general overview topics and will be discussed.
1948: The Election the Dewey “Won”
1948 was not a good year for political polling, especially the presidential polling. In 1948, There were three major polling companies that focused on political polling during that year’s presidential election.
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They all used quota sampling. (Mosteller et al., 1949, pg. 84, pg. 352) (“Archibald Crossley”, 2016, para 8). Quota sampling is where “…the researcher deliberately sets the proportions of levels or strata within the sample” (“Types of Samples”, n.d., para 8). Strata is short for stratification, which is a limiting factor as to whom the interviewer can interview. For example, if an interviewer has to interview fifteen people from San Diego to get a representative sample of San Diego. Of the fifteen people, ten have to be from the center of the city and five from the suburbs. That is a quota for how many people from an area must be …show more content…
84). The “bias” that could have appeared could simple have come from the interviewers personal beliefs, habits, likes, etc. (Mosteller et al.). The not knowing what the sampling population is results in inaccurate quotas based on sex, education levels, race, income, etc. (Mosteller et at.). What these two problems resulted in were inaccurate results that skewed the poll results that showed a Dewey victory. Arrogance Gallup, Roper, and Crossley, who all covered the election, could have avoided the major error if they did not take so much conviction in their polls. They were led to believe their methods, which was quota sampling, as mentioned earlier, were “more accurate than in fact they [were]” (Mosteller et al., 1949, pg. 290). The pollsters were given false confidence in their methods and pushed them heavily in their

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