Political Behavior

, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 136–150 | Cite as

Do the polls affect elections? Some 1980 evidence

  • Andrew Skalaban


This paper finds that the relatively favorable standing of Ronald Reagan in the preelection polls helped to generate a bandwagon effect in the 1980 presidential election. The models tested here suggest that this effect was most pronounced among voters who had the weakest prior political opinions and hence were most susceptible to suggestion through the media. While the bandwagon effect that is generated is modest, after controlling for an array of other political biases, it is substantial enough to warrant further attention as the dissemination of poll results becomes an increasingly attractive news “event.”


Presidential Election Political Opinion Poll Result Political Psychology Political Bias 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Agathon Press, Inc 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew Skalaban
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of IowaIowa City

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