The Quinnipiac Polling Institute

Quinnipiac Poll

Olivia Schueller


The Quinnipiac Polling Institute is a nationally recognized public opinion polling center.

In 1988 the polling institute was founded. Since 1988 the Quinnipiac Polling Institute has grown tremendously in numbers. Polls went from covering states in New England to covering a dozen along the east coast. Covering more states has allowed the polls to increase accuracy. Currently, the Quinnipiac Polling Institute is focused on the upcoming midterm elections. Once polls are completed they are sent out nationwide.

By email, polls are distributed to news outlets. Polls are conducted by student employees who call cell phones to obtain the information needed. Douglas Schwartz, director of the Quinnipiac University Poll, said the transition to cell phones was made after most young people stopped using landlines.

“The people who have only a cell phone are actually young people,” Schwartz said. “An overwhelming majority of them do not have a landline so it’s really important to call cell phones.”

The Quinnipiac polls have developed over the years. When the polls began, paper and pencil were the only methods of gathering information from people. And in 1994, when Schwartz began working for the polls, there was a total of 12 interviewers. Today, there are 200 interviewers.

Shannon Bailey, a sophomore student employee of the Quinnipiac Polling Institute, said, “we call people by a random number system and we have to ask them if they would like to participate in the poll. If they say yes, we go through the entire 15-minute long poll.”

With the midterm election coming up, the polling institute and its employees are focused on the election.
After the 2016 election, Schwartz believes the polls have not received negative feedback.

“I do think there is some skepticism but it’s misguided. The polls really were just as accurate in ‘16 as they’ve always been,” said Schwartz.

People may become skeptical of poles when they disagree with the outcome but accuracy hasn’t wavered. The media uses poles to show the opinions Americans have on a certain topic.

“Look at how much talk there is about poles,” said Schwartz. I don’t think there has been many real consequences in terms of negativity towards polls since the election because the media uses poles just as much as they ever did.”