GALLUP ON OPINION POLLS AND DEMOCRACY

GALLUP, GEORGE.

Public Opinion in a Democracy.

[No place], Princeton University, 1939. 8vo. In the original printed wrappers. Fine and clean. 15 pp.

First printing - and first non-academic publication ever - of Gallup's famous speech on whether democracy is the best kind of government and how democracy can be made more efficient. Gallup believed that public opinion polls served an important function in a democracy: "If government is supposed to be based on the will of the people, somebody ought to go and find what that will is," Gallup explained.

Gallup was worried by the public opinion in Europe - especially in Italy and Germany - during the thirties: "In a world which moves as rapidly as the modern world does, it is often desirable to know the people's will on basic policies at more frequent intervals. We cannot put issues off and say "let thembe decided at the next election". World events do not wait on elections. We need to know the will of the people at all times." (From the present speech).

Gallup (1901 - 1984), as head of the Department of Journalism at Drake University until 1931. That year, he moved to Evanston, Illinois, as a professor of journalism and advertising at Northwestern University. The next year, he moved toNew York City to join the advertising agency of Young and Rubicam as director of research (later as vice president from 1937 to 1947). He was also professor of journalism at Columbia University, but he had to give up this position shortly after he formed his own polling company, the American Institute of Public Opinion (Gallup Poll), in 1935. In 1936, his new organization achieved national recognition by correctly predicting, from the replies of only 50,000 respondents, that Franklin Roosevelt would defeat Alf Landon in the U.S. Presidential election. This was in direct contradiction to the widely respected Literary Digest magazine whose poll based on over two million returned questionnaires predicted that Landon would be the winner. Not only did Gallup get the election right, he correctly predicted the results of the Literary Digest poll as well using a random sample smaller than theirs but chosen to match it.

Order-nr.: 47906


DKK 4.200,00