Politics Podcast: Online Polls Have Taken Over The Polling Industry. Is That A Problem?


Since 1956, European countries have been gathering each year to compete in the Eurovision song contest — a competition of largely pop and techno artists that can often feel like a parody of European tastes in music. There have long been accusations of bias in the voting process and last Saturday’s competition — which Sweden won — was no exception. In this installment of the FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast, Galen speaks with statistics and health economics professor Gianluca Baio, who created a model to determine whether there really are biases advantaging or disadvantaging certain nations.

Galen also speaks with Courtney Kennedy, vice president of methods and innovation at the Pew Research Center, who recently published a study showing that the polling industry of today bears little semblance to the polling industry at the start of the century. The days of real human beings randomly dialing landline phones are gone, but what does that mean for the accuracy of public opinion research?

You can listen to the episode by clicking the “play” button in the audio player above or by downloading it in iTunes, the ESPN App or your favorite podcast platform. If you are new to podcasts, learn how to listen.

The FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast is recorded Mondays and Thursdays. Help new listeners discover the show by leaving us a rating and review on iTunes. Have a comment, question or suggestion for “good polling vs. bad polling”? Get in touch by email, on Twitter or in the comments.


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