—by David Schmidtke
On Thursday, I attended the General Session, “Polls, Politics and What Americans Really Think.” Neil Newhouse and Geoffrey Garin, each representing a different side of the political aisle, gave an interesting and humorous talk about political polling’s role in the last presidential election and what the polls say regarding the upcoming state elections. Polls indicate a deeply divided partisan electorate and a general unhappiness with elected leaders. While polls indicated indicate a certain political direction for the upcoming elections, Mr. Newhouse pointed out that nothing should be taken for granted. Campaigns can and do make a difference in both national and state elections. Regarding the 2012 election, Neil Newhouse quipped, that in retrospect, they realized that the votes of the unenthused voters count for as much as the enthused voters.
Afterwards, NCSL met with the speakers for a Q and A: