Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If You Use a Screen Reader

This content is available through Read Online (Free) program, which relies on page scans. Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.

Pens and Polls in Nicaragua: An Analysis of the 1990 Preelection Surveys

Katherine Bischoping and Howard Schuman
American Journal of Political Science
Vol. 36, No. 2 (May, 1992), pp. 331-350
DOI: 10.2307/2111480
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2111480
Page Count: 20
  • Read Online (Free)
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Cite this Item
Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Pens and Polls in Nicaragua: An Analysis of the 1990 Preelection Surveys
Preview not available

Abstract

In order to understand the problems of interpreting political surveys in highly polarized societies, we analyze the results of 17 preelection polls carried out during the three months preceding the 1990 Nicaraguan election. We also draw on findings from a survey-based experiment on response bias administered in the last days of the election campaign. Both sets of data are used to explore five hypotheses that might account for the large inconsistencies between many of the preelection surveys and the actual election results: the volatility of the Nicaraguan electorate; serious problems in sampling a developing country in turmoil; effects of the administration or context of questions; intentional partisan bias on the part of polling organizations; and response effects due to the partisanship of the polls as perceived by the Nicaraguan population. Our analysis indicates that the main explanation for the failure of some polls and the success of others lies in an unusual interaction between respondents' vote intentions and the perceived partisanship of a poll. Paradoxically, bias on the part of a survey organization was necessary to reduce bias on the part of respondents.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
[331]
    [331]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
332
    332
  • Thumbnail: Page 
333
    333
  • Thumbnail: Page 
334
    334
  • Thumbnail: Page 
335
    335
  • Thumbnail: Page 
336
    336
  • Thumbnail: Page 
337
    337
  • Thumbnail: Page 
[338]
    [338]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
[339]
    [339]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
[340]
    [340]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
341
    341
  • Thumbnail: Page 
342
    342
  • Thumbnail: Page 
343
    343
  • Thumbnail: Page 
344
    344
  • Thumbnail: Page 
345
    345
  • Thumbnail: Page 
346
    346
  • Thumbnail: Page 
347
    347
  • Thumbnail: Page 
348
    348
  • Thumbnail: Page 
349
    349
  • Thumbnail: Page 
350
    350