Michael W. Traugott

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Research Professor, ISR; Professor of Communication Studies, LS&A; Adjunct Professor of Political Science, LS&A

Michael Traugott received his PhD in Political Science from the University of Michigan. His current research interests involve studies of the validity of survey responses, focused primarily on self-reported voting; evaluations of polls used by journalists, specifically political polls; and motivated reasoning in the interpretation of poll results by the public. Traugott is past president of the American Association for Public Opinion Research and the World Association for Public Opinion Research and was recognized by both organizations for lifetime accomplishments in public opinion research.  He has served as a consultant to several media organizations on their election coverage.

Selected Publications

The Voter’s Guide to Election Polls, with Paul J. Lavrakas (2023). Rowman & Littlefield, 6th edition.

Words That Matter: How the News and Social Media Shaped the 2016 Presidential Election, with Leticia Bode, Ceren Budak, Jonathan M. Ladd, Frank Newport, Josh Pasek, Lisa O. Singh, and Stuart N. Soroka. Washington: Brookings Institution Press.

Experimental Methods in Survey Research: Techniques that Combine Random Sampling with Random Assignment, with Paul J. Lavrakas, Courtney Kennedy, Allyson L. Holbrook, and Edith de Leeuw (Co-editors). (Wiley Series in Survey Methodology: Hoboken NJ, 2020.)

Handbook of Public Opinion Research, with Wolfgang Donsbach (Co-editor). (London: Sage Publications, 2008)

“Motivated Reasoning in the Perceived Credibility of Public Opinion Polls.” 2017. With Ozan Kuru and Josh Pasek. Public Opinion Quarterly, 81: 422-426.  

 “When Pundits Weigh In: Do Expert and Partisan Critiques in News Reports Shape Ordinary Individuals’ Interpretations of Polls?” 2020.With Ozan Kuru and Josh Pasek. Mass Communication and Society, 23: 628-655.

“When Polls Disagree: How Competitive Results and Methodological Quality Shape Partisan Perceptions of Polls and Electoral Predictions." 2021. With Ozan Kuru and Josh Pasek. International Journal of Public Opinion Research, 32: 586-603.

“The Accuracy of Opinion Polling and Its Relation to Its Future.” 2011. Chapter prepared for Robert Y. Shapiro and Lawrence R. Jacobs (editors), The Oxford Handbook of American Public Opinion and the Media. (New York: Oxford University Press).