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News, Sources, and Fact-Checking: Know your information source
A progressive public policy research and advocacy organization. According to CAP, the center is "dedicated to improving the lives of all Americans, through bold, progressive ideas, as well as strong leadership and concerted action." The Center presents a liberal viewpoint on economic and social issues.
The Center for American Progress was created in 2003 as a left-leaning alternative to think tanks such as the Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute.
American think tank that analyzes the impact of federal and state government budget policies from a progressive perspective. The Center's stated mission is to "conduct research and analysis to help shape public debates over proposed budget and tax policies and to help ensure that policymakers consider the needs of low-income families and individuals in these debates."
CBPP was founded in 1981 by Robert Greenstein, a former political appointee in the Jimmy Carter administration. Greenstein founded the organization, which is based in Washington, D.C., to provide an alternative perspective on the social policy initiatives of the Ronald Reagan administration.
Human Rights Watch is a nonprofit, nongovernmental human rights organization made up of roughly 400 staff members around the globe. Its staff consists of human rights professionals including country experts, lawyers, journalists, and academics of diverse backgrounds and nationalities.
Bias allegations include undue influence by United States government policy.
A U.S. based center for policy analysis, exchange, and communication on issues in Western Hemisphere affairs based in Washington, D.C. The Dialogue brings together public and private leaders from across the Americas to address hemispheric problems and opportunities. Founded in 1982 by co-chairs Sol M. Linowitz (a U.S. diplomat) and Galo Plaza (former President of Ecuador) the Dialogue is one of the oldest and most influential think tanks on Latin American and Western Hemisphere affairs.
An American think tank based in Washington, D.C. that carries out economic research and analyzes the economic impact of policies and proposals. The EPI describes itself as a non-partisan think tank that "seeks to include the needs of low- and middle-income workers in economic policy discussions". It is affiliated with the labor movement, and is usually described as presenting a liberal viewpoint on public policy issues.
The EPI advocates for policies favorable for low- to moderate-income families in the United States. The EPI also assesses current economic policies and proposes new policies that EPI believes will protect and improve the living standards of working families.
An American conservative think tank based in Washington, D.C. The foundation took a leading role in the conservative movement during the presidency of Ronald Reagan, whose policies were taken from Heritage's policy study Mandate for Leadership. Heritage has since continued to have a significant influence in U.S. public policy making, and is considered to be one of the most influential conservative research organizations in the United States.
A conservative think tank based in Washington, D.C. Its research is dedicated to issues of government, politics, economics and social welfare.
Founded in 1938, AEI's stated mission is "to defend the principles and improve the institutions of American freedom and democratic capitalism—limited government, private enterprise, individual liberty and responsibility, vigilant and effective defense and foreign policies, political accountability, and open debate". AEI is an independent nonprofit organization supported primarily by grants and contributions from foundations, corporations, and individuals.
An American public policy think tank and research institution located at Stanford University in California founded in 1919 by Republican Herbert Hoover, before he became President of the United States.
Its mission statement outlines its basic tenets: representative government, private enterprise, peace, personal freedom, and the safeguards of the American system. The institution is generally described as conservative, although directors and others associated with it resist this description, saying that the institution is not partisan and that its goal is "to advance ideas of supporting freedom and free enterprise".
An American libertarian think tank headquartered in Washington, D.C. It was founded as the Charles Koch Foundation in 1974 by Ed Crane, Murray Rothbard, and Charles Koch, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of the conglomerate Koch Industries. In July 1976, the name was changed to the Cato Institute. Cato was established to have a focus on public advocacy, media exposure and societal influence.
An American conservative non-profit think tank based in Washington, D.C.. It was founded in 1961 in Croton-on-Hudson, New York, by futurist, military strategist, and systems theorist Herman Kahn and his colleagues at the RAND Corporation.
The Institute is committed to innovative research and analysis that promotes "global security, prosperity and freedom." It promotes public policy change in accordance with its stated belief that "America’s unique and central role in the global system offers the best foundation for security, the defense of liberty, and assuring economic growth."
An American research group on Think Tank Row in Washington, D.C. It conducts research and education in the social sciences, primarily in economics, metropolitan policy, governance, foreign policy, and global economy and development. Its stated mission is to "provide innovative and practical recommendations that advance three broad goals: strengthen American democracy; foster the economic and social welfare, security and opportunity of all Americans; and secure a more open, safe, prosperous, and cooperative international system."
Brookings states that its staff "represent diverse points of view" and describes itself as non-partisan, while the media sometimes describes Brookings as "liberal". An academic analysis of Congressional records from 1993 to 2002 found that Brookings was referenced by conservative politicians almost as frequently as liberal politicians, earning a score of 53 on a 1–100 scale with 100 representing the most liberal score.
A foreign-policy think tank with centers in Washington, D.C., Moscow, Beirut, Beijing, Brussels, and New Delhi. The organization describes itself as being dedicated to advancing cooperation between nations and promoting active international engagement by the United States. Founded in 1910 by Andrew Carnegie, its work is not formally associated with any political party.
In the University of Pennsylvania's 2015 Global Go To Think Tanks Report, Carnegie is ranked the third most influential think tank in the world.
The center conducts policy studies and strategic analyses of political, economic and security issues throughout the world, with a specific focus on issues concerning international relations, trade, technology, finance, energy and geostrategy.
Since its founding, CSIS "has been dedicated to finding ways to sustain American prominence and prosperity as a force for good in the world," according to its website. CSIS is officially a bipartisan think tank with scholars that represent varying points of view across the political spectrum. The think tank is known for inviting well-known foreign policy and public service officials from the U.S. Congress and the executive branch including those affiliated with either the Democratic or the Republican Party as well as foreign officials of varying political backgrounds. It has been labeled a "centrist" think tank by U.S. News & World Report
A nonpartisan American "fact tank", which is based in Washington, D.C. It provides information on social issues, public opinion, and demographic trends shaping the United States and the world. It also conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis, and other empirical social science research. Pew Research Center does not take explicit policy positions, and is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts.
An American private nonprofit research organization "committed to undertaking and disseminating unbiased economic research among public policymakers, business professionals, and the academic community." The NBER is well known for providing start and end dates for recessions in the United States.
The NBER is the largest economics research organization in the United States. Many of the American winners of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences were NBER Research Associates. Many of the Chairmen of the Council of Economic Advisers have also been NBER Research Associates, including the former NBER President and Harvard Professor, Martin Feldstein.
Know your polling data
Throughout the election season, politicians cite polls to show their popularity with the voting public, the support one of their policies has among the populace, or how much voters disagree with their opponents and their position. From citing Gallup to Pew to even Facebook and other online polls, campaigns and their supporters use this information to try to influence others and to help craft their message.
While it may be easy to listen to these numbers and believe in their efficacy, the truth is often more difficult to explain. With the growth of the Internet, online polling has become more prevalent and more discussed by politicians, journalists, and others. However, as the video clip below explains, online polls are more popularity contests than scientific.
Public opinion polling is a much more involved process than merely adding a survey to a webpage or relying on email responses. In fact, it is a scientific process that researchers and pollsters engage in to try to gauge public opinion on topics, individuals, and other information.
And while pollsters and researchers seek to get the most accurate information possible, there are still some pros and cons.
An American research-based, global performance-management consulting company. Founded by George Gallup in 1935, the company became known for its public opinion polls conducted worldwide. It provides research and strategic consulting to large organizations in many countries, focusing on "analytics and advice to help leaders and organizations solve their most pressing problems."
Some of Gallup's stated key practice areas are employee engagement, customer engagement, talent management, and well-being. Gallup has 30 offices in more than 20 countries, employing about 2,000 people in four divisions: Gallup Poll, Gallup Consulting, Gallup University, and Gallup Press.
A market research firm, known for "The Harris Poll". Harris worked in a wide range of industries, across countries and territories through North America, Europe, and Asia. The company was a member of several research organizations, including the US National Council of Public Polls, the British Polling Council, the Council of American Survey Research Organizations, the US Council for Marketing and Opinion Research, and the UK Market Research Society.
In November 2013, Nielsen Holdings agreed to purchase Harris Interactive for $116.6 million. The purchase was completed on February 3, 2014. The Harris Poll continues to run and current releases by The Harris Poll can be found on their new website.
Located on the Monmouth University campus in West Long Branch, New Jersey. The Polling Institute was established in 2005 to be a leading center for the study of public opinion on important state, regional, and national issues.
Founded in 2005, the Polling Institute conducts and disseminates public opinion research as a way to foster greater public accountability by including the voice of the public in the policy discourse.
The Poll's major focus is its home state of New Jersey. However, the Polling Institute also conducts policy research and election polls throughout the mid-Atlantic region, including New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia. The Polling Institute’s activities include research services for government agencies and private organizations that assist with policy planning and assessment. The institute also collaborates with faculty and students to enhance research and training opportunities in survey research. The Polling Institute’s research capabilities include: large and small-scale survey projects; telephone, mail, and in-person interview designs; quantitative data analysis; and qualitative research techniques such as focus group facilitation and analysis.
A nonpartisan American "fact tank", which is based in Washington, D.C. It provides information on social issues, public opinion, and demographic trends shaping the United States and the world. It also conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis, and other empirical social science research. Pew Research Center does not take explicit policy positions, and is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts
A U.S. Democratic polling firm based in Raleigh, North Carolina. PPP was founded in 2001 by businessman Dean Debnam, the firm's current president and chief executive officer.
In addition to political issues, the company has polled the public on topics such as the approval rating of God, whether Republican voters believe President Obama would be eligible to enter heaven in the event of the Rapture, whether hipsters should be subjected to a special tax for being annoying, and whether Ted Cruz is the Zodiac Killer.
A public opinion polling center based at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut. It surveys public opinion in Connecticut, Florida, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, and nationally.
The polling operation began informally in 1988 in conjunction with a marketing class. It became formal in 1994 when the university hired a CBS News analyst to assess the data being gained. It subsequently focused on the Northeastern states, gradually expanding during presidential elections to cover swing states as well. The institute is funded by the university. Quinnipiac University Poll receives national recognition for its independent surveys of residents throughout the United States. It conducts public opinion polls on politics and public policy as a public service as well as for academic research.
Described as a "conservative-leaning polling group, Rasmussen was founded in 2003 by Scott Rasmussen, a conservative author and publisher. The company engages in the collection, publication, and distribution of public opinion polling information. Rasmussen Reports conducts nightly tracking, at national and state levels, of elections, politics, current events, consumer confidence, business topics, and the president's job approval ratings.
Founded in 1984 by educator John Zogby, the Zogby poll conducts polls and focus groups throughout the world.
Experts have questioned Zogby's methods, noting that the telephone portion of the polling method is subject to wild fluctuations and erratic results. Additionally, Zogby relies on Internet-based polls conducted among users who volunteer to participate in them, first by signing up at the Zogby website and then by responding to an e-mail solicitation. These Internet polls, to the extent they rely on voluntary participation, violate the most basic precept of survey research, which is that of the random sample.