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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Emily Farris and Public Policy Polling - The Atlantic

In this interesting article, a social scientist had her name added to a poll to see why voters often had positive or negative reactions to nonexistent people or propositions.  She discovered that 20% had an unfavorable reaction to her as a candidate for president even though she wasn't running and no one could have even heard of her.

"It’s well-established that voters will volunteer views concerning wholly fictitious issues or candidates. One landmark study asking voters for their opinions on the Public Affairs Act of 1975 found a third of them willing to voice opinions on the non-existent statute. Subsequent surveys have replicated that result. Voters can be reluctant to confess ignorance, or conflate invented laws or candidates with real ones."

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