Polling Ranked Choice Voting Elections
Lessons from Maine and New York City
For the first time in its history, New York City voters cast their ballots in the June primaries using Ranked Choice Voting (RCV). Under Ranked Choice Voting voters can rank up to five candidates, and in a systematic process of elimination, votes are reallocated until one candidate wins.
The challenges in reaching voters and obtaining accurate survey results are well known to those in political survey research. Does this task become even more complicated and uncertain with this new voting method?
Our panel includes several experts with first-hand experience polling the June Democratic primary, in which Eric Adams ultimately defeated Kathryn Garcia in the eighth round of RCV. Our panelists will address the challenges they faced conducting accurate survey research in this first-of-its-kind election in the country’s largest and most diverse city. Then, they will turn their attention to the November General Election featuring Adams versus Republican Curtis Sliwa.
To provide a broader context for the discussion about the use of RCV in New York City, we will first look to Maine where voters have expressed their support for RCV multiple times over the past several years. First used statewide in 2018, Maine law currently provides that all state and federal primary elections, and federal general elections are conducted by RCV. Our panel will discuss its initial roll out, public opinion about it, and whether any of the concerns about RCV have manifested in Maine now that it has been used in several statewide elections.
Prof. Barbara Carvalho - Director, The Marist Poll, Marist College
Dr. Carvalho oversees the design, analysis, and communication of Marist Poll research projects and results. Barbara received her Ph.D. in political science from Fordham University. She is a trustee of the National Council of Public Polls. She has developed and directed studies at the national, state, and community levels — for government, private, and non-profit organizations.
Chris Jackson - Vice President and Program Director, Strategic Research and Polling practice, Ipsos North America
Chris's research specialties include public opinion trends, election polling, strategic communications research and reputation research. He works with a wide variety of public and private sector clients including running the Reuters/Ipsos poll with Thomson Reuters, and he is a spokesperson for Ipsos Public Affairs in the US. Chris is an expert on American electoral and public polling with a deep background in the American political system. Beyond politics, Chris has worked across a wide range of research subjects – including technology, healthcare, policy, energy and consumer issues. Chris has been a commentator in major news outlets in the United States and abroad, including Huffington Post, USA Today, Reuters, BuzzFeed, BBC, Sky News, and CBS, as well as original commentary from Ipsos. Chris earned his BA from the University of Southern Mississippi and did his graduate work at the University of Georgia (MA) where he specialized in American elections.
Carrie LeVan - Montgoris Family Assistant Professor of Government, Colby College
Dr. LeVan is an expert on voter mobilization and social networks and their role in affecting the participation of individuals from varying socioeconomic and racial/ethnic backgrounds. Her primary research explores how both the physical design and racial/ethnic/class composition of one’s neighborhood impacts neighbor-to-neighbor contact and how these neighborly interactions subsequently affect one’s propensity to participate in politics and one’s attitudes towards people of color and the poor. She has also conducted surveys in the state of Maine to examine public opinion regarding Maine’s first-in-the-nation rollout of Rank Choice Voting.
Adam Rosenblatt - President, Core Decision Analytics
Adam is one of the nation’s leading political consultants sought after for his ability to help clients achieve victory through effective research-based strategies and messaging. His work has been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, Politico, and many other top-tier publications. As President of Core Decision Analytics (CODA), the opinion insights and data analytics division of the Core Strategic Group, Adam designs and executes cutting-edge quantitative, qualitative, and data analytics programs for campaigns as well as non-political clients.
Oct 14, 2021