Gallup Poll

Gallup Poll
   The man who lent his name to the famous poll-taking organization was George Horace Gallup (1901-1984). He was born in Jefferson, Iowa, and attended school in his native state, graduating from Iowa State University. He then became professor of journalism at Iowa and later taught at Drake and Northwestern universities.
   Gallup began his studies of sampling methods by checking items in newspapers and magazines. His method set a standard for the field. After spending some time in market research, he began experimenting in 1933 with public opinion polls, and in 1935 he conceived the idea for national poll-taking. In 1936 he correctly predicted the outcome of that year's presidential election and acquired national fame. During the previous year Gallup had founded at Princeton, New Jersey, the American Institute of Public Opinion "to measure and report public opinion on political and social issues of the day without regard to the Tightness or wisdom of the views expressed." His method for measuring the public viewpoint was to have trained interviewers question a small but carefully selected cross section of the population. Previously straw polls were the method employed to predict political results. The Gallup poll was the first "scientific" sampling of public opinion.
   The Gallup organization spread throughout the Western world. Its polls have been used in many countries to forecast popular opinion in politics and in other fields, particularly cinema.
   This quasi-scientific method is not the same as one involving physical science. In the presidential election of 1948, Gallup predicted a stunning defeat for Harry Truman. Both Gallup and Thomas Dewey ate crow. As did, famously, the Chicago Daily Tribune.

Dictionary of eponyms. . 2013.

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  • Gallup™ poll — UK US noun [S] TRADEMARK ► an opinion poll (= a study in which people are asked their opinions) produced by the Gallup™ organization: »According to a recent Gallup poll, 62% of investors say that energy costs are hurting the investment climate …   Financial and business terms

  • Gallup poll — ➔ poll1 …   Financial and business terms

  • Gallup poll — 1940, from George H. Gallup (1901 1984), U.S. journalist and statistician, who in 1935 set up the American Institute of Public Opinion …   Etymology dictionary

  • Gallup poll — ► NOUN trademark ▪ an assessment of public opinion by the questioning of a representative sample, used in forecasting voting results in an election. ORIGIN named after the American statistician George H. Gallup (1901 84) …   English terms dictionary

  • Gallup poll — The Gallup Poll is the division of Gallup that regularly conducts public opinion polls in the United States and more than 140 countries around the world. Gallup Polls are often referenced in the mass media as a reliable and objective measure of… …   Wikipedia

  • Gallup poll — noun a) A poll of the opinion of randomly chosen persons, used to represent the opinion of the public, conducted by or one the companies he founded. Pity we live in the same century with that strange creature. Say, we have here two men who talked …   Wiktionary

  • Gallup poll — UK [ˈɡæləp ˌpəʊl] / US [ˈɡæləp ˌpoʊl] Word forms Gallup poll : singular Gallup poll plural Gallup polls trademark a way of finding out what most people think about an issue by asking a number of them questions, especially in order to find out how …   English dictionary

  • gallup poll — /ˈgæləp poʊl / (say galuhp pohl) noun → opinion poll. {from George Horace Gallup, 1901–84, US statistician who developed the poll} …  

  • Gallup poll — Gal′lup poll n. gov a representative sampling of public opinion or public awareness concerning a certain subject or issue • Etymology: 1935–40; after G. H. Gallup …   From formal English to slang

  • Gallup poll{™} — n a way of estimating the public opinion in a country by selecting a group of people that represents the whole country and asking them questions. Gallup polls are often used in predicting the results of elections. They are named after G H Gallup …   Universalium

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