Political Science

OU partners with Ohio universities for political poll

OU is collaborating on this year's Baldwin Wallace University Great Lakes Poll that will focus on Presidential polling data from the swing states of Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.

political poll, political science, president, BW, Terri Towner

icon of a calendarJanuary 14, 2020

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OU partners with Ohio universities for political poll

Oakland University has joined Ohio Northern University in a partnership led by Baldwin Wallace University and its Community Research Institute to conduct four Great Lakes Polls to sample voter sentiment in four key Midwest states leading up to the 2020 presidential election.

towner headshot
Professor Terri Towner from OU's
Political Science Department

The Baldwin Wallace University Great Lakes Poll will conduct surveys in Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.

Professor Terri Towner from Oakland University’s Department of Political Science in the College of Arts and Sciences will propose survey questions relevant to Michigan residents, help analyze the data, and collaborate with colleagues from the other schools in reporting topline results to fellow academic scholars, media and the public.

"This survey is unique as it focuses on public opinion about the 2020 candidates and campaigns in the Great Lakes states, with particular attention to the swing states of Ohio and Michigan," said Towner. "The survey will be fielded twice during the primary period, then early fall, and right before Election Day. Therefore, there will be a good amount of data for us to report."

The first survey will be conducted this month with state-by-state results released prior to the Iowa caucuses.

“In 2012, all four states re-elected Obama by at least three points,” explained Dr. Lauren Copeland, associate director of Baldwin Wallace’s Community Research Institute and project leader. “In 2016, however, Trump won three of the four states by less than a single percentage point. This leads us to believe that these Great Lakes states are among the most important to watch for the 2020 U.S. presidential election.”

Professors Copeland and Towner will be joined Dr. Tom Sutton, Dr. Aaron Montgomery and Dr. Julie Newcamp from Baldwin Wallace and Dr. Robert Alexander from Ohio Northern on the polling project. Together they will compare and contrast public opinion in those four states, looking for clues on what explains the voting choices in these key political battleground states.

The surveys will be conducted among self-identified registered voters using an online panel with quotas in place for age, gender, and education for each state based on data from the U.S. Census. In addition, each state will have quotas in place for urban areas based on U.S. Census data and the National Center for Health Statistics' Urban-Rural Classification Scheme for Counties. Respondents will receive an email from Qualtrics, a national web panel provider, and respond using a personalized link to the survey. Each topline report will include a detailed section on methodology.

Baldwin Wallace has been surveying Ohioans since 2015. This is the first year the polls will expand to include other key swing states.

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