GW Brief: Univ. to work with Battleground Poll through 2009 election

With the presidential primary season in full swing and Election Day growing closer, GW extended its partnership with Battleground Poll, a bi-partisan national opinion and voter intention poll, through 2009.

GW’s collaborators on the poll are Lake Research Partners, a Democratic polling firm, and the Tarrance Group, a Republican polling firm. The University’s relationship with the Battleground Poll began in 2004.

“It is a partnership that has worked exceedingly well over the past three years,” said Tracy Schario, a University spokesperson.

“GW is known as being the best university for the study of policy and politics and the poll reinforces that,” she said.

Christopher Arterton, dean of the Graduate School of Political Management, manages GW’s efforts on the poll.

Arterton said Tarrance Group takes the administrative lead in the poll, coming up with the questions that are then reviewed by Arterton and Lake Research Partners. The Tarrance group hires an outside group to administer the poll and the results are then analyzed by all three involved parties.

“Lending the GW name to the Battleground Poll gives it some weight,” Arterton said. He also said he believes that GW’s partnership with the poll brings substantial attention to the University, pointing to Quinnipiac University which gained attention through its polling institute.

The Tarrance Group, whose clients include Rudy Giuliani, analyzes the Republican data while Lake Research Partners, who worked with Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.), analyze the Democratic data. Arterton provides his own analysis of the data for both parties.

“I am able . to give an interpretation that is presumably more objective or at least from an academic standpoint,” Arterton said.

The Battleground Poll has been operating since 1991, 13 years before GW signed on. As part of the partnership, Gelman Library holds the archives of all the previous polls.

“It has been inordinately accurate,” Arterton said of the Battleground Poll, which touts itself on its Web site as having predicted the results of the 1992 presidential election more precisely than any similar effort.

He added, “I think (the GW-Battleground Poll) is one of several data points that will be looked at by political players (in the 2008 election).”

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