The Opinion Makers: An Insider Exposes the Truth Behind the Polls


A former senior editor at the Gallup Poll shows how pollsters don’t report public opinion, they manufacture it

Since the mid-1930s, Americans’ opinions on everything from presidents to products have been a central part of news reporting. Today, the news media dominates the polling industry. David W. Moore—lauded as a “scholarly crusader” by Herbert Mitgang in the New York Times—exposes an industry intent on serving headlines rather than democracy and the sometimes disastrous consequences for all Americans, from the myth of public support for the invasion of Iraq to early presidential frontrunners selected not by voters but by pollsters.

In this presidential election year, Moore offers a fresh approach to the candidates’ polling percentages including that pre-election polls conceal rampant voter indecision. He profiles pollsters’ tactics and demonstrates why public policy polls are almost always wrong. Going beyond a clear and critical argument for reform, Moore outlines steps to make polls deliver on their promise to monitor the pulse of democracy.

Moore, David. (2008). The opinion makers: An insider exposes the truth behind the polls. Beacon Press.