The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

This new tool puts 50,000 poll questions and 100 demographics at your fingertips

Catherine Walker marks her ballot in the poll inside the William W. Blackburn Middle School poll in Jackson, Miss.,Tuesday, June 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Donald Trump has sent the polling world into a frenzy. The billionaire’s sustained lead in the Republican presidential race has raised questions about the accuracy of polling and produced many hypotheses about why his lead has proved so durable.

For researchers who want to use polling data to understand a phenomenon like Trump, a key challenge is that polling data is scattered across the Internet, locked behind expensive subscriptions, and unavailable in standard statistical software.

This year, we at Morning Consult have addressed that problem by building out a platform called Morning Consult Intelligence. This free platform allows anyone to search and analyze over 50,000 current and historical survey questions from top polling organizations.

The figure below displays more than 7,500 questions based on the search phrase ‘Obama job approval.’ Researchers can filter based on the polling or media organization and the date of the survey.

The platform also analyzes trends in public opinion over time. For example, below is the top issue for more than 24,000 Republican voters interviewed by Morning Consult since May mapped against the national unemployment rate.

You can also visualize public opinion data by geographic location. Below is the percent of Republican and Republican-leaning independents who support Donald Trump in the Republican presidential race, broken down by state, in about 30 national Morning Consult polls conducted since May 2015.

One such extension will be a regression analysis tool, which researchers can use to examine the relationship between political attitudes and hundreds of demographics, such as gender, income, and party affiliation.

Our hope is that the era of unorganized, unanalyzed public opinion data is over. If you have any suggestions on what we can do to improve the platform, or new tools you’d like to see, please email me at kyle@morningconsult.com.

Kyle Dropp is Co-Founder and Executive Director of Polling and Data Science at Morning Consult and an Assistant Professor of Government at Dartmouth College. Morning Consult is a technology and media company that serves leaders at the intersection of policy, politics, business, and Wall Street.

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