5 Useful Political Polling Sources

Just How Much Does Data Is There In Politics?

Sanjay Unni
Sep 6 · 3 min read
Source: https://morningconsult.com/2018/08/16/a-poll-of-polls-what-do-americans-trust/

With debates among the 2020 Democratic candidates just starting, and the 2020 election itself looming in the background, now is a good a time as any for an aspiring data scientist to take a crack at political polling. We here at the Data Science Library have compiled a brief list of 5 useful sources for that very purpose.

FiveThirtyEight

FiveThirtyEight is a popular news website that specializes in political analysis. They generate a variety of quantitative and statistical analysis of different parts of politics and provide all of it free of charge to any interested readers. These datasets are continuously updated and altered and can easily be downloaded, so we highly recommend you check them out.

Some interesting example datasets include Trump approval ratings, turnover in the Presidential cabinet, and how much the 2020 Presidential candidates overlap on Twitter.

GDELT Project

GDELT, powered by Google Jigsaw, monitors every kind of news media (print, broadcast, web) all over the world. All this data is available via text APIs and as public datasets on Google’s Big Query data service. You can see a lot more detailed information than some other sources here, such as tone or positive/negative scores, so it’s worth looking into.

Pew Research Center

The Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan think tank that provides a wealth of information about social issues, public policy, and demographic trends both worldwide and in America. While they may not have as much data available to use as some other sources here, it’s all free to use and covers quite a bit of material.

Some interesting example datasets are American trends in 2018 and Congressional rhetoric on Facebook.

Gallup Polls

Gallup polls, first administered almost a century ago in 1935, are detailed measurements of the American public’s attitude on just about every issue. Their data is incredibly valuable, as few polls capture the true thoughts of America as well as it does. However, you can only access it if you’re a member of certain universities or submit a form to contact a Gallup representative. If you can get past that hurdle, you’ll find a very useful tool for your data science endeavours.

Roper Center

A Cornell educational facility focusing on public opinion, the Roper Center acts as a non-profit, non-partisan demographic data archive. They provide a large amount of information to use, from state election day exit polls to presidential approval ratings, although a lot of it is hidden behind a paywall. There are hundreds of surveys questions or datasets that they give for free, but you’ll have to pay quite a bit to see the rest. However, there is a free trial you can apply for after contacting a Roper Center representative.

Some interesting example datasets are national exit polls from 2018 and these state exit polls from 2014.


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    Sanjay Unni

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    Data Science Library

    Your go-to for data science resources, readings, tools and more