Public opinion is central to a democracy, and polling is one of the major means by which we measure public opinion. This blog will discuss issues related to polling and public opinion, particularly in Vermont. In addition, we will explore issues related to higher education and preparing students to be active citizens and intelligent consumers of social science research.
Vermont has a long history of active self-government at the local level, and the practice of town meetings gives a platform for citizens to be heard. In that spirit, the Castleton Polling Institute serves as another means for bringing citizen views to the public debate at the state and local level.
Not only will public opinion research give voice to ordinary citizens, it also serves as a way to highlight our differences. While Vermont may appear to the rest of the country as a homogeneous, rural collection of liberals, we have more diversity than meets the eye. What we lack in racial and cultural diversity we make up for in ideological diversity. Public opinion research can highlight differences in views based on gender, partisan affiliation, age, number of years one lives in Vermont, or a host of other demographic variables. Understanding our differences and diversity is important in understanding our politics.
Please check back to this blog to explore issues around public opinion and polling, especially as they pertain to our collective lives in Vermont.