Likely voter

In political opinion polls, a likely voter is a person who, according to the survey methodology of the polling organization, has a high chance of voting in an upcoming election.[1][2][3][4]

According to the American Association for Public Opinion Research, "there is a consensus in the polling community that it is better to report “likely” voters than “registered” voters".[5]


Models and methods to identify likely voters is a topic of political science research.[6][7][8][9][10]


  1. Clement, Scott (2016-01-07). "Why the 'likely voter' is the holy grail of polling". Washington Post. Pollsters employ widely differing methods for identifying likely voters (and many keep their methods under wraps)
  2. Newport, Frank (2000-05-23). "How Do You Define "Likely Voters"?". Gallup, Inc. The challenge for the pollster is to find the best procedures or mechanisms to use to estimate who will be in and who will be out of the population of voters, and then to find a way of sampling opinion just from those who have the highest likelihood of voting.
  3. Blumenthal, Mark (2010-10-05). "'Likely' Voters: How Pollsters Define And Choose Them". The Huffington Post.
  4. "Probable Voters: How Polls Are Made, Swayed". Washington Post. 2004-10-23.
  5. "Likely Voters". American Association for Public Opinion Research. There is a consensus in the polling community that it is better to report “likely” voters than “registered” voters, especially as Election Day approaches.
  6. Perry, Paul (1973-01-01). "A Comparison of the Voting Preferences of Likely Voters and Likely Nonvoters". The Public Opinion Quarterly. 37 (1): 99–109. JSTOR 2747818. Because such a large share of the voting-age population does not vote, election research has been concerned with the problem of identifying likely voters and likely nonvoters in advance of an election.
  7. "Can Likely Voter Models Be Improved?". Pew Research Center. 2016-01-07. ... identifying who is likely to vote is fundamental to making accurate forecasts from pre-election polls and correctly characterizing the views of the electorate.
  8. Erikson, Robert S.; Panagopoulos, Costas; Wlezien, Christopher (2004-12-01). "Likely (and Unlikely) Voters and the Assessment of Campaign Dynamics". Public Opinion Quarterly. 68 (4): 588–601. doi:10.1093/poq/nfh041. ISSN 0033-362X.
  9. Murray, Gregg R.; Riley, Chris; Scime, Anthony (2009-03-20). "Pre-Election Polling: Identifying Likely Voters Using Iterative Expert Data Mining". Public Opinion Quarterly. 73 (1): 159–171. doi:10.1093/poq/nfp004. ISSN 0033-362X.
  10. Rogers, Todd; Aida, Masa (2011-12-13). "What Does 'Intending to Vote' Mean?". Social Science Research Network. Rochester, NY.

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