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Democracy Forum

Democracy Forum on WERU FM Community Radio

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October 19 -- Political Polls: Can We Ever Trust Them Again?

2018 Radio News Award: WERUThe League of Women Voters Downeast in cooperation with WERU FM produces a monthly radio program on topics in participatory democracy. It's called the Democracy Forum.

Broadcasts may be heard live from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. on the third Friday of the month at WERU Community Radio, 89.9 FM Blue Hill, 99.9 FM Bangor. Listen live on the Web at WERU FM.

In September, 2018, the Democracy Forum won top honors from the Maine Association of Broadcasting for public affairs radio.

Here is information about our upcoming broadcast.

October 19 -- Political Polls: Can We Ever Trust Them Again?

"Do you ever get the feeling that the only reason we have elections is to find out if the polls were right? - " -- Robert Orben, comedy writer and one time magician

We'll talk about the state of the art in political polling, why polls sometimes get it wrong, the emerging challenges for pollsters, and what citizens need to know about who and what to believe. We'll take listener calls during the second half of the show.

In case you missed it live, you can listen to this show from the archive at

Special Guests:

  • Amy Fried, Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science at the University of Maine
  • Courtney Kennedy, Director, Survey Research, Pew Research Center.

Key Topics:

  • Polls and pollsters are not all created equal. How can ordinary people judge what they're hearing?
  • What are some of the emerging challenges in polling now?
  • Can media reporting on polls affect voter behavior and election turnout?
  • Are there sources of polling information that people can generally trust? Or should ordinary people just ignore them?
  • What can citizens do to become smarter consumers of polling information?

To learn more, follow these links to related content:

Read about and listen to past programs from the League archive.

Recent Topics in this Series

ELECTIONS IN MAINE: Where the Rubber Meets the Road

DISTRUST IN GOVERNMENT: A Necessary Evil or a Weapon of Destruction?

STATE PRE-EMPTION: Who's Got the Power?

IMMIGRATION: Can We Live Without It?

RANKED CHOICE VOTING: How Will It Work in Maine?

GERRYMANDERING: What's the Big Deal?

PRIMARY ELECTIONS: What Are They Good For?

TEN MONTHS IN: Taking Stock in Maine

POLITICAL PARTIES: Do They Still Matter?

Read about and listen to past programs from the League archive.