Since the fall of 2014, students in a Carroll College class on Elections have been running election polls around Montana. We used exit polls to cover the general elections in November 2014 and 2016, the May 2017 special election to fill Montana’s lone seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, and the November 2018 General Election. The 2020 general election was conducted largely through the mail, as a public health precaution, so we fielded a mail survey in October 2020.
We use single-page surveys with the questions designed by Carroll students and Dr. Street, who teaches Political Science at Carroll. From 2014-17 we covered polling places across Lewis and Clark County, with the locations sampled at random (but with the likelihood of appearing in the sample designed to be proportional to the share of the county’s electorate registered to vote at each polling place). In 2018 we also ran the exit poll at the MetraPark polling place in Billings and the Expo Park polling place in Great Falls. In 2020 we sampled at random from full lists of registered voters in Lewis and Clark, Cascade and Yellowstone counties.
Carroll students use the data to write research papers, allowing them to test out their ideas about why people vote the way they do, and also to apply the statistical tools that they have learned in class to understand real-world data. One student conducted further research and published the results in an undergraduate research journal (https://issuu.com/psajournalou/docs/psa_journal_f2019_final). If you have any questions about the project, please contact Dr. Alex Street, email@example.com