Political Science Professor, Department Chair Brian Krueger
Title: Political Science Professor, Department Chair
Expertise: Political science research and public opinion
All eyes will be on the polls Nov. 6, but one URI political science professor isn’t anxious to see who will win; he’s just looking for the exit. Exit Polls, that is.
You see, Professor Brian Krueger wants to know who actually voted — young or first-time voters like you and everyone who casts a ballot. He takes it all in for research. In fact, the Huffington Post is even sharing his work.
The poll data from the most reliable national sources and the census bureau is aggregated for a crisp look at the voter registration, voter turnout, and voting behavior of numerous groups in the U.S. electorate over the last four decades. His latest book, Exit Polls: Surveying the American Electorate, 1972 to 2010 (CQ Press, 2012), which he wrote with fellow political science Professor Samuel Best of the University of Connecticut, is the first to present an over-time set of national exit poll results, which has long been archived in frustratingly difficult formats, making it essentially inaccessible even to other researchers.
But the two political scientists believed the 448-page book wasn’t enough. They wanted the information to be accessible and available for other researchers, political wonks and curious explorers. So, just in time for the 2012 campaign follow-up discourse, they’ve expanded this line of research into a simple-to-use, comprehensive resource at DimpledChad.info.
And it’s not just about 2012 (or 2000 as its web name may imply). The site, like their book, has aggregated the exit poll and census data to as far back as 1972. DimpledChad.info extends the scope and reach of their work. And like the book, it is the first of its kind.
“There is too much misinformation about elections, political attitudes, and voting behavior. Our goal with DimpledChad.info was no less than improving the quality of political discussion in our democracy…
Professor Krueger said their book was the springboard for this site.
“After pulling all this data together for our analysis in preparing the book, we recognized that even more nuanced census and exit poll results would be valuable for students and other researchers. Of course, it will also be a great resource to help journalists and scores of political pundits make fact-based statements rather than assumptions when making comparisons about what exit polls showed from one year to the next,” he said.
“There is too much misinformation about elections, political attitudes, and voting behavior. Our goal with DimpledChad.info was no less than improving the quality of political discussion in our democracy by offering an easy way for citizens to better understand our collective political behavior. You might say that the site follows the advice of the ancient Greek Oracle of Delphi to ‘Know Thyself.’ ”
As he teaches courses like Introduction to Political Science Research, the American Presidency, and Public Opinion, Professor Krueger says he looks forward to sharing the new historic exit poll resource with his students and fellow professors.
“It will be exciting to see our students’ creative use of this information. They can look at how subgroups of voters may have voted two years ago and up to 40 years earlier.
“Plus, on the other side, we also decided to include voter registration information to encourage these young scholars to be sure to vote!” the professor added.