Marquette University News Release

Marquette Law School to launch 2012 political polling project

November 1, 2011

Marquette University Law School will sponsor the largest independent polling project in state history to study voter attitudes during the 2012 election season. The Marquette Law School Poll will conduct monthly polls throughout the year to measure voter attitudes toward the presidential and U.S. Senate elections; citizen reaction to current state policy debates and possible recall elections; and a wide range of opinions among Wisconsin voters.

“The Marquette Law School Poll will build on the dynamic public policy program we have developed over the past several years,” said Joseph D. Kearney, dean of Marquette University Law School. “From convening major forums on the future of public education to hosting debates among candidates for key posts, Marquette Law School has become the place to go for neutral and thoughtful discussion of the key issues of the day. Without question, Wisconsin will be at the center of the 2012 election, and our poll will provide the public with unprecedented understanding of voter attitudes at this historic time.”

Professor Charles Franklin, a nationally recognized expert in polling and voter analysis, will oversee the project; he will serve as visiting professor of law and public policy and will teach at Marquette Law School during the 2012 calendar year. Franklin co-founded Pollster.com, which became an award-winning site for nonpartisan polling analysis. He is an expert in statistical methods, political polling, elections and public opinion. He is a member of the ABC News election-night analysis team and was co-director of the Big Ten Poll, which conducted 18 state and national polls in 2008. He has been a professor of political science at UW-Madison for the past 20 years.

“The Marquette Law School poll will be completely transparent,” said Franklin. “We will publish our questions and results in their entirety for all to see. Through our analysis we hope to give the general public, the media and the political world an extraordinary level of understanding about the multifaceted views of Wisconsin voters.”

Mike Gousha, distinguished fellow in law and public policy, and Alan Borsuk, senior fellow in law and public policy, both seasoned and award-winning journalists, will play key roles in analyzing the findings and convening larger discussions of its implications.

“One of the primary reasons I came to Marquette Law School several years ago was to help facilitate substantive conversation on the issues that most affect our community and our world,” said Gousha. “The Marquette Law School Poll will be an outstanding tool for helping us all understand the deeper context of what will be a fascinating election year.”

The poll will be conducted monthly throughout 2012. Marquette Law School will establish a website to provide complete poll results, with Franklin available for in-depth analysis as each new poll is completed.  The polls will use the most advanced technology, including cell-phone only respondents, with sufficient sample size to allow detailed analysis of how attitudes and vote choices change over the course of the year.

Members of the media may contact Professor Franklin directly at 608-235-1960 (cell) or charles@pollsandvotes.com. You may also contact Brigid Miller at Marquette University at 414-288-7445 or brigid.miller@marquette.edu.

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