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How political pollsters try to get you to cooperate

Last 100 days of the campaign
Maddie McGarvey / for The Washington Post
via Getty Images
Les Rupert calls people to survey them on their political beliefs on July 28 at the Wood County Republican Office in Bowling Green, Ohio.

With Election Day less than three weeks away, there's a chance you may get a call from a political pollster. While some of those calls could be from nonpartisan operations, the director of the Western New England University Polling Institute says other calls could come from political campaigns. Speaking on “All Things Considered,” Tim Vercellotti said that’s only problematic when the voice on the line won't promise to tell you whom they are working for.

Vercellotti also discussed how political pollsters like him persuade increasingly time-pressed and distrustful people to cooperate in political polls. His answers can be boiled down to persistence and transparency.

In the longer (nearly 20 minutes) segment featured below on this page, you can hear Vercellotti speak more about political polling, including the business of political polls, insights into Connecticut’s two top political races, and how pollsters try to uncover racism as a motivating factor in voting decisions.

How political pollsters try to get you to cooperate (Extended Interview

John Henry Smith is Connecticut Public’s host of All Things Considered, its flagship afternoon news program. In his 20th year as a professional broadcaster, he’s covered both news and sports.