After about 18 months of campaigning, the election season has ended with Barack Obama as the victor. Daily polls – such as Gallup – on candidates’ popularity have ceased. This year, a lesser-known took a part of the spotlight on election day – the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion (MIPO).
Lee Miringoff and Barbara Carvalho, co-directors of MIPO, were not available on election day or the following day. According to Julia Stamberger, a MIPO student worker, Miringoff and Carvalho were speaking at events in New York City. She could not specify the nature or the location of their speeches. Miringoff and Carvalho refused to comment.
In the final election poll, conducted entirely on the eve of Election Day, Barack Obama led John McCain by 9 percentage points nationally – 52 percent to 43 percent – among likely voters, including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate.
Miringoff told the Poughkeepsie Journal Wednesday that based on preliminary data from Tuesday’s presidential election, the youthful percentage of the national electorate was about the same as it was in 2004 – hovering around 17 percent.
But a majority of those voters, ages 19 through 29, cast their ballots Tuesday for Obama, the Poughkeepsie Journal said. Exit polls Tuesday showed Obama winning the votes of youths by more than 2-1.
MIPO’s polling results have been mentioned in The Wall Street Journal, CNN, Bloomberg, U.S. News & World Report, The New York Post, The New York Daily News, Fox News, The Washington Post, and The Associated Press – among others.
In an effort to add humor to the recently passed election, MIPO sent an e-mail on Thursday to many of the aforementioned news companies with the subject line: “Marist Poll: Matchups for the 2012 Presidential Election — For Immediate Release,” according to Reuters. Once opened, however, the message read:
“Did you really open this e-mail? Haven’t you had enough? You’ll be hearing from us soon…but not this soon. Best wishes, Your friends at The Marist Poll.”
MIPO workers said that they worked intensely during the election season.
“We’ve obviously been polling for months now, calling particular states and this past week we did a national poll to find out if we can get any information about which way voters were going,” Stamberger said.
Amy Wheeler, a student worker at MIPO, said that this election was especially busy.
“Marist Poll has been very active in the election this year,” Wheeler said. “They have been contacted by many news organizations to comment on the youth role and its effect on the election.”
Students said they were excited to see Marist referenced so often on television news networks during the election.
“I think it’s really great for the school,” said Cory West-Forbes, a sophomore at Marist College. “Marist has shown that we matter in the world of politics. You can definitely see it in that big news hot shots are paying attention to us now.”
This year’s election resulted in 52 percent of the votes for Obama, and 46 percent for McCain. Miringoff said he believes that despite the results, both sides will have someone to blame.
“One advantage of a divided government is you always have someone to point a finger at,” Miringoff told Newsday.