Lesson #3: The right message to the right customer at the right time can influence the final decision.
Pollsters do far more than merely gather, analyze, and publish poll results. And political candidates know it.
A major focus of researchers is on how polls not only predict, but actually influence, election outcomes. “During elections, and major public policy events, much of the media coverage focuses on the “horse race,” or fluctuations in support for a candidate or policy. Reporting on public opinion not only affects support, but levels of engagement: donations, volunteering and turnout. These bandwagon effects can make polls self-fulfilling prophecies; the predictions of the polls come to pass because the polls not only measure public opinion but also influence public opinion and engagement,” wrote economist David Rothschild in the Huffington Post in October 2012.