About

The Democracy Fund Voter Study Group is a research collaboration of more than two dozen analysts and scholars from across the political spectrum examining and delivering insights on the evolving views of American voters.

As the 2016 presidential campaign unfolded, it became increasingly clear that the underlying values and beliefs driving voter decisions need to be better understood. To that end, we convened a politically diverse group of conservative, progressive, and independent public opinion experts to study the electorate together. The group sought not to achieve consensus, but to engage in discussion about how the views of the electorate are evolving and what the implications of those changes may be.

The group first reviewed existing research and identified additional questions that required study. The 2016 VOTER Survey (Views of the Electorate Research Survey) was the study group’s first original research. In partnership with YouGov, Voter Study Group continues polling large subsets of the American electorate to allow for deep exploration of, and tracking of any shifts in their beliefs about important issues. Voter Study Group members analyze the VOTER Survey data through a variety of social and political lenses, and either author, or partner to co-author, reports that convey their insights. Each report represents the views of the author(s), rather than the broader Voter Study Group, but is reviewed by members from both sides of the political spectrum before being shared with the media and peers to better engage the public in meaningful conversations.

The Democracy Fund Voter Study Group is led by manager, Alicia Kolar Prevost; research director, Robert Griffin; Joe Goldman, and Lauren Strayer.

Our Mission

The research of the Democracy Fund Voter Study Group is designed to help policy makers and thought leaders listen more closely, and respond more powerfully, to the views of American voters. Our goal is to have more productive conversations where voters feel like they are truly heard. We hope the study group’s research and analysis helps us understand each other and make our democracy more functional.

Methodology Summary

In partnership with the survey firm YouGov, the 2016 and 2017 VOTER Surveys interviewed up to 8,000 Americans who had been previously interviewed both in 2011-2012 and in July 2016. (View the Methodology for the 2017 VOTER Survey or the 2016 VOTER Survey.) The 2018 VOTER Survey interviewed 6,005 Americans between April 5 and May 14, 2018 — 4,705 of whom have been interviewed previously and 1,300 of whom were part of an additional sample of 18 to 24-year-olds and Hispanics.

Voter Study Group Participants

Participants in the Voter Study Group are leaders in their fields, bringing a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives. They examine data and explore voter sentiments in order to help political leaders respond and connect to their needs. Get further acquainted with the participants below.

Antoine Banks

Antoine Banks

University of Maryland

Karlyn Bowman

Karlyn Bowman

American Enterprise Institute

Cathy  Cohen

Cathy Cohen

University of Chicago

Michael Dimock

Michael Dimock

Pew Research Center

Lee Drutman

Lee Drutman

New America

Emily Ekins

Emily Ekins

Cato Institute

Morris Fiorina

Morris Fiorina

Stanford University

Bernard Fraga

Bernard Fraga, Ph.D.

Indiana University

William A. Galston

William A. Galston

Brookings Institution

Joe Goldman

Joe Goldman

Democracy Fund

Robert Griffin

Robert Griffin

Democracy Fund Voter Study Group

Robert P. Jones

Robert P. Jones

Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI)

Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg

Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg

The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement

Taeku Lee

Taeku Lee

Asian American Decisions

Tod Lindberg

Tod Lindberg

Hudson Institute

Brink Lindsey

Brink Lindsey

Open Society Project at the Niskanen Center

Dalia Mogahed

Dalia Mogahed

Institute for Social Policy and Understanding

Hans Noel

Hans Noel

Georgetown University

Henry Olsen

Henry Olsen

Ethics and Public Policy Center

Adrian D. Pantoja

Adrian D. Pantoja

Latino Decisions

Alicia Kolar Prevost

Alicia Kolar Prevost

Democracy Fund Voter Study Group

Patrick Ruffini

Patrick Ruffini

Echelon Insights

John Sides

John Sides

The George Washington University

Lauren Strayer

Lauren Strayer

Democracy Fund

Ruy Teixeira

Ruy Teixeira

Center for American Progress

Ismail White

Ismail White

Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies

Vanessa Williamson

Vanessa Williamson

Brookings Institution

David Winston

David Winston

The Winston Group

Felicia Wong

Felicia Wong

Roosevelt Institute

Publication Disclaimer

The Democracy Fund Voter Study Group project is made possible through support from Democracy Fund. The views and opinions on this site are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Democracy Fund, nor of all Voter Study Group participants.

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