Marquette Law School Poll rated nation’s third best poll, also most transparent

The Marquette Law School Poll has been recognized as the third-best poll in the United States by 538’s new pollster ratings of more than 500 polling organizations. The Marquette poll received a 2.9-star rating (out of 3.0), and a nation-leading transparency score of 10.0. The Marquette poll had been ranked 5th in the previous ratings by 538, in 2023.

About the transparency rating, 538 had this to say:

“The Marquette University Law School poll is also America’s most transparent, owing to the abundance of information it shares about how it conducts its polls.”

The Marquette Law School Poll was founded in 2012 and has polled on Wisconsin statewide races for governor, U.S. Senate, and president in each election, having conducted a total of 76 statewide polls interviewing more than 65,000 registered voters. While election polling gets a lot of attention, the poll examines attitudes on a wide range of policy preferences and perceptions, having asked more than 1,300 different questions. The poll is underwritten by donations of alumni and friends to the Law School’s general Annual Fund.

The Marquette Law School Poll was rated third, following top-ranked New York Times/Siena College and ABC News/Washington Post polls—the only two pollsters with a 3.0-star rating.

Charles Franklin, director of the poll and professor of law and public policy at the Law School, commented on the new rating: “It is gratifying to see this recognition of both the accuracy and the transparency of the Marquette Law School Poll. From the beginning we have posted all of our results, crosstabs, and methodology online for each poll, available to all interested readers. We have also shared the results through public events at poll releases in Eckstein Hall’s Lubar Center, news interviews, and for a wide variety of civic organizations throughout the state.” Professor Franklin is assisted in the poll by John D. Johnson, Research Fellow in the Law School’s Lubar Center for Public Policy Research and Civic Education.

The top fifteen pollsters are shown on this website graphic.

A snapshot of 538’s pollster rankings (top 15 of more than 500 polls), from ABC News’ Jan. 25, 2024, article

Polls were rated in two measures: empirical accuracy and methodological transparency. Empirical accuracy, as measured by the average error and average bias of a pollster’s polls, was calculated by how close a pollster’s surveys land to actual election results, adjusting for how difficult each contest is to poll. Bias was measured with the partisan direction that the poll’s error skewed.

For methodological transparency, 538 quantified how much information each pollster released about every poll in its archive since 2016. Polls received 1 point for each of 10 criteria they met, ranging from whether a poll published the actual question wording of its poll or listed sample sizes for key subgroups. Each pollster received a Transparency Score based on the weighted average of the scores of its individual polls and whether it shares data with the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research at Cornell University or is a member of the American Association for Public Opinion Research’s Transparency Initiative.

The Marquette Law School Poll is the only poll in the country to receive a perfect 10.0 in transparency.

538 is an American website that focused on opinion poll analysis, politics, economics, and sports blogging in the United States, formerly known as 538 uses statistical analysis — hard numbers — to tell compelling stories about elections, politics, economics, and American society.