Quinnipiac University Polling Institute

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Quinnipiac University Polling Institute
Headquarters 275 Mount Carmel Avenue
Hamden, Connecticut
Affiliations Quinnipiac University
Website www.quinnipiac.edu/institutes--centers/polling-institute/

The Quinnipiac University Polling Institute is a public opinion polling center based at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut. It surveys public opinion in Connecticut, Florida, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, and nationally.[2]

It is considerably larger than other academic polling centers, including the Franklin & Marshall College Poll, which only surveys Pennsylvania.[1] The organization employs about 160 interviewers, generally drawing from political science, communications, psychology, and sociology majors, as well as some interviewers that are not affiliated with the university.[1] The poll has a full-time staff of ten.[1] The university does not disclose the Institute's operating budget, and the poll does not accept clients or outside funding.[1]

In 2007, the institute underwent construction of a new two-story building that was expected to double its available capacity to 160 calling cubicles.[1] The purpose of the capacity expansion was to allow the institute to poll multiple states at once, rectifying a problem that arose during the 2006 Connecticut Senate election where other polls were canceled to support that poll.[1]

The polling operation began informally in 1988 in conjunction with a marketing class.[3] It became formal in 1994 when the university hired a CBS News analyst to assess the data being gained.[3] It subsequently focused on the Northeastern states, gradually expanding during presidential elections to cover swing states as well.[3] The institute is funded by the university.[3] Quinnipiac University is widely known for its poll;[4] the publicity it has generated has been credited with increasing the university's enrollment.[1]

The poll has been cited by major news outlets throughout North America and Europe, including The Washington Post,[5] Fox News,[6] USA Today,[7] The New York Times,[8] CNN,[9] and Reuters.[10] Quinnipiac's Polling Institute receives national recognition for its independent surveys of residents throughout the United States. It conducts public opinion polls on politics and public policy as a public service as well as for academic research.[1][3] Andrew S. Tanenbaum, the founder of the poll-analysis website Electoral-vote.com, compared major pollsters' performances in the 2010 midterm Senate elections and concluded that Quinnipiac was the most accurate, with a mean error of 2.0 percent.[11]