By Raymond Horchos
Over the past four weeks, the Kamran Ashfar Data Analytics Center conducted a series of polls in an attempt to garner details of likely votes in the seventh district of Pennsylvania. In those four weeks, nine DeSales students participated in calling over 7,000 individuals and conducting around three to four minute surveys discussing the voter’s likely ballot.
Some questions included the likelihood of supporting marijuana legalization, top priority voting issues and their favor towards President Donald Trump. Among the later questions, responses tended to be more heated and ranged. For most of the poller’s, the response tended to be an unanswered phone call, followed by a voicemail box. When the respondent did pickup, the callers had a prepared speech, which was often times expedited, in order to grab the poller’s attention. Most often, it ended in respondents unable to talk or being dissatisfied with being called.
DeSales University student Joshua Rey, a caller, said about the survey, “I thought it was awesome. It was great to see all these people’s opinions. Even better, this is the first year that DeSales University has done this sort of thing.”
The program itself was headed by Dr. Kellen Gracey an Associate Political Science Teacher who worked with Kamran Ashfar, the previously mentioned economist in order to get the survey up and running.
Before the polling began, the students went through a few weeks of training and the students were information as to prepare them for the polling itself. Additionally, given the time constraints and the variety of respondent’s answers, there existed a sheet of standard answers for anticipated questions that could be asked.
For the polling itself, the numbers leaned Democratic towards Susan Wild. For the total polling, 45.6 percent of registered voters plan to vote for Susan Wild, whereas 33.5 for Republican Marty Nothstein, and 3.9 for Tim Silfies, the Libertarian Candidate. Up to 16.7 of the other respondents either said they wouldn’t vote for either candidate or undecided.
For President Trump, 52.2 percent approve of his job and 42 percent disapprove of his job. Only about 5 percent of those polled said they had an undecided opinion of the President.
Some of the most interesting data arose in the top priority issues section: at the beginning of the poll on October 8, the economy stood at the most important issue, with health care in second, and immigration third. By the end of the four weeks, healthcare skyrocketed to the number one position, with economy in second, and immigration third.
The poll itself gave adequate information to reflect the seventh district as a whole and will hopefully play out according to that information. DeSales first time participating in a poll of this sort yielded results and will hopefully spearhead another poll in the future.