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Pack Polls Produce Strong Data, Savvy Students

Visit to learn more about student-conducted polls.

Students in several political science classes are learning how to both gather and consume poll data on campus.  Mike Cobb, professor of Political Science, trains students in his Public Opinion and Media classes to conduct and analyze polls. Some  surveys span the semester, while others are three- to four-question flash polls.

The most recent project, a 2012 election poll, included a sample size approaching 1,000 undergraduates, and a sub-sample of 225 faculty. The poll focused on voting awareness and behaviors. Check out the results on the Pack Poll website and in stories published in the News and Observer and on News 14 Carolina. 

“The Pack Poll is meant to document what students think about social and political issues and to compare opinions over time by building trend lines,” says Cobb. He also wants students to better understand polling data. Cobb hopes that alumni and future graduates will come back to the Pack Poll website to see “what the kids think.”

The small group of students who take on this year-long project have the opportunity to travel to Washington, DC, in the spring. During their trip, they meet professionals who do micro-targeting in campaigns or those who do polling in other countries, like the Pew Research Center.

The Pack Poll is conducted semi-annually by and for NC State University students. For more information, email

By Kristie Demers, communication intern