Changing Role of Public Opinion Polls
Public opinion polls have played a part in past national elections but never so large a part as they are playing in the 1960 presidential campaign. The polls have been credited by political scientists and others with profoundly influencing, if not determining, the choice of this year's candidates for the presidency; the choice by the presidential candidates of their running mates; the issues to be emphasized and attitudes to be taken by the candidates in campaign speeches and debates.
Political polls continue to be looked upon by the general public as simple forecasts of aspirants' chances of nomination and candidates' chances of election, but they have become much more than that. National politicians who formerly made vital decisions on the ...