Slicing Public Opinion for State and National Research

University of Georgia

Thursday, August 18, 2016 - 3:30pm

In this paper, we develop and release measures of public ideology in 2010 for the 50 American states, 435 congressional districts, and state legislative districts. We do this using the geospatial statistical technique of kriging, which uses the locations of survey respondents, as well as population covariate values, to predict ideology for simulated citizens in districts across the country. In doing this, we improve on past research that uses the kriging technique for forecasting public opinion by incorporating Alaska and Hawaii, making the important distinction between ZIP codes and ZIP code tabulation areas, and introducing more precise data from the 2010 Census. We show that our estimates of ideology at the state, congressional district, and state legislative district levels appropriately predict the ideology of legislators elected from these districts, serving as an external validity check.

This is a collaborative research work with Jeff Gill (Washington University in St. Louis).

Room 306, Statistics Building 1130