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Political Scandal and Bias in Survey Responses

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 October 2014

Nicholas Goedert
Affiliation:
Lafayette College
Corresponding
E-mail address:

Abstract

This article provides evidence for bias in the polling of American political candidates who are accused of personal or financial scandal, wherein the support of the accused candidate is understated. Evidence for this phenomenon is found in the analysis of a dataset of district-level polls of US House elections during the 2002–2012 election cycles. This bias helps to explain several unanticipated outcomes in recent American legislative elections, in which scandal-tarred incumbents unexpectedly were reelected or defeated by surprisingly narrow margins. The article also finds evidence of a smaller bias, previously observed by practitioners, wherein support is overstated for incumbents who are not accused of scandal.

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Features
Copyright
Copyright © American Political Science Association 2014 

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Goedert supplementary material

Supplementary appendix

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