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Roll Call – Coronavirus pandemic muddies election and opinion polling

by Michael Macagnone – Harper President Brock McCleary commented on the state of public opinion research during the COVID-19 outbreak for a recent Roll Call story.

Pollsters have spent decades trying to puzzle out who will show up on Election Day, and several said the coronavirus pandemic has only made that challenge more difficult.

The polling and public opinion research industry has had to delay or alter the way it works amid stay-at-home orders and social distancing measures. Brock McCleary, president of Harper Polling, said he’s confident that polls will still be conducted — he’s working on a few himself — but voter behavior will get more mysterious.

“It’s anyone’s guess how much staying power [the pandemic] will have except for the cases where the primaries are already on top of them,” McCleary said.