The Marist Poll is known as one the more recognized polls in the country, and is gaining more attention now more than ever with the election just around the corner.
The media partners associated with the poll, NBC News and Wall Street Journal, give information to the poll through their own polls.
“We like being partnered with these news outlets because it helps get the Marist name out there and releasing the data that our interviewers pick up off of calls,” Assistant Director of the Survey Center, Mike Conte said.
Conte is a supervisor of the coaches and interviewers at Marist Poll. He also helps decide which interviewers get promoted to coaches. What they do is oversee the interviewers to make sure that the calls are going smoothly and running appropriately.
Chris Palmgren, a coach at the poll, discussed how he used to be an interviewer, and understands what it takes to be a coach and monitor the calls as well as the requirements.
“Interviewers and coaches are required to report to the poll at minimum once a week to fulfill their crew night requirement,” Palgmren said. “I personally make sure that interviewers phone calls are going smoothly and if there is an issue I have the authority to interrupt the call to calm everything down.”
Crew nights are the shifts that workers must come in for the majority of the night as part of the job. They can occur on any day of the week and it lasts for around six hours. If the interviewers want to make more money they are definitely allowed to come in and poll on other days, but are not required to stay the full six hours.
“While it was extremely stressful, I would go in and actually work a full six hours even when it was not my crew night just so I could get a little extra money, even if it was during the day,” former interviewer Danielle Blacker said.
Palmgren did go on to talk about how the poll gets a bad rep for the job being overwhelming and exhausting for the interviewers, but at the end of the day is one of the easier jobs for Marist students to make money. It comes down to, “the more hours you choose to work, the more money you will end up with. It does not get easier than that.”
Regardless it is certainly a very busy time there, especially with one of the most important elections in United States history. The interviewers always do their best to help out so that the people on the other end of the phone are comfortable, because the data for these polls are so important. It is certainly more stressful for the higher-ups at the survey center since they are the ones that have to make sure the data is accurate, and that it gets released to the rest of the mainstream media so it can be shown to the public.
“Right now we are polling the battleground states to see which candidate has the edge, considering these states determine the outcome of the election,” Conte said.
They focus on a couple of states at a time and then switch to a couple of other states the following week. States are also picked all over the country and not focused on certain regions. The reasoning behind this is because of the time zones- many of the Eastern Time zone states do not want to be receiving a call at 10:30 p.m. about politics. That time would be better for calling one of the more western states where it is earlier.
However, when it is not an election year the Marist Poll is still polling just with more general topics.
“There usually is always some kind of election, mayoral election or midterm senate. But when there is not a general presidential election, we usually work with non-profit organizations in the Hudson Valley,” Conte said.
When they work with the organizations in the Hudson Valley it is mainly on social issues involving the community, according to Conte. They also help out a lot of the departments here at Marist. They frequently work with the sports communication department on the off years from the election. Overall, Marist Poll is not just another on campus job for Marist students. While it is seen as just another way to make money by students they do also realize that working for one of the more recognized polls in America is a great privilege and responsibility. No matter what kind of year it is, polling at Marist is very influential.