Skip to Content

Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions

Home > Vanderbilt Poll Snapshot

Vanderbilt Poll Snapshot

November 2014

November 2014 VU Poll News Conference - VU News

November 2014 VU Poll Executive Summary

November 2014 VU Poll Questionnaire

November 2014 VU Poll Slides

May, 2014

May 2014 VU Poll News Conference - VU News

May 2014 VU Poll Executive Summary

May 2014 VU Poll Questionnaire

May 2014 VU Poll Slides

December 2013 

December 2013 VU Poll News Conference - VU News

December 2013 VU Poll Executive Summary

December 2013 VU Poll Questionnaire

December 2013 VU Poll Slides

FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions


Joshua D. Clinton

John Geer

Poll Archives

May 2013 VU Poll Executive Summary

May 2013 VU Poll Questionnaire

May 2013 VU Poll Results

May 2013 VU Poll Slides

FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions

December 2012 VU Poll Overview 

December 2012 VU Poll Questionnaire

December 2012 VU Poll Results

December 2012 VU Poll News Conference 

December 2012 VU Poll Slides

May 2012 Survey Results

May 2012 VU Questionnaire

February 2012 Survey Results

February 2012 VU Questionnaire

November 2011 VU Questionnaire

November 2011 Survey Results

June 2011 VU Questionnaire

June 2011 Survey Results

January 2011 VU Questionnaire

January 2011 Survey Results

News Archives

Religious themes color politics in "born again' Tennessee

Marriage Equality in Tennessee? Vanderbilt Poll Shows Significant Shift

VU Poll: Support Growing For Medicaid Expansion In Tennessee

Vanderbilt University Poll: Tennesseans favor Medicaid expansion

Vanderbilt poll finds growing support for same-sex marriage

VU poll: Support for Medicaid expansion increases, Haslam's approval stays steady

Geer and Clinton present VU Poll results to TPA

Tennesseans show 'bittersweet' reactions to health law in Vanderbilt Poll

TN legislature should focus on economy: Vanderbilt Poll

"Bias against Mormonism may not keep Romney out of White House"

"Vanderbilt Poll: Santorum leading Republican candidate in Tennessee"

"Vanderbilt Poll: Tennesseans stout in support for Herman Cain"

"Vanderbilt Poll: Economy is troubled and taxing rich is the solution"

"Controversial bills might have cost TN General Assembly Popularity Points"


Phone: 615.875.6954
Fax: 615.343.6003

Photo Photo Photo


In January 2011, the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions launched the Vanderbilt Poll to survey individuals 18 and older living in the state of Tennessee. The goal was – and is – to provide a non-partisan and scientifically based reading of public opinion within the state. The Vanderbilt Poll is bi-annual, with surveys conducted prior to the start of the state legislative session and at its conclusion. There are occasional surveys around important elections, such as the February 2012 Republican Presidential Primary Poll, but the focus of the Vanderbilt Poll is to uncover what Tennesseans think about important state and national issues and to make our findings available to citizens, policy-makers, and scholars. Since 2011, the Vanderbilt Poll has surveyed over 11,000 Tennesseans and all poll results are available at:

Vanderbilt University (VU) offers an ideal setting for polling state opinion. Not only is Vanderbilt located in the state capital, but it is also a private institution that does not rely on funding from the state government. This allows us the flexibility to ask questions on controversial issues that may be facing the state. VU also has committed sufficient resources for us to employ state-of-the-art techniques in gathering the best possible data. Good polling is costly and cutting corners can lead to questionable data. Finally, CSDI and VU have extensive polling expertise among its faculty, students, and staff.

Joshua Clinton, Professor of Political Science, and John Geer, Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of Political Science, have served as co-directors of the Vanderbilt Poll since its inception. Clinton received his Ph.D. from Stanford University, where he also earned an M.S. in Statistics and Economics. Geer received his Ph.D. from Princeton University, where he also earned an M.A. in Politics. Both have substantial experience in survey research, developing representative samples, drafting survey questions, and analyzing survey data.

We take our objective of providing an unbiased reading of public opinion very seriously. As a result, we conduct telephone interviews through both landlines and cell phones. We also weight all statistical results to achieve an accurate demographic representation.

To help identify the most important issues facing the state and to ensure that our questions avoid ideological and partisan bias, a bi-partisan Board of Advisors provides guidance on each poll. Our Board evaluates the poll prior to it going in the field. We start by soliciting suggestions from the Board about what topics to include on the poll and make every effort to utilize those suggestions. Once we write questions for the poll, we get the Board's reaction to our proposed questions and we then make further revisions based on those reactions.     


Back Home   

Survey on the Future of Government

CSDI Media Spotlight

NYT -In an analysis of the upcoming British general election, Paul Krugman draws on research by Larry Bartels ( to support the claim that voters' "short memories" provide "little or no political reward for good policy."

Tennessean -  Reports "Vanderbilt receives $1M grant to combat child labor." The $1M grant was awarded to CSDI Affiliate Cecilia Mo from the U.S. Department of Labor. 

Washington Post - Larry Bartels asks "Can 'conservative principles' boost working-class incomes?"

Washington Post - Alan Wiseman and Craig Volden outline "The 5 Habits of Highly Effective Legislators."

Tennessean - Latest Vanderbilt Poll showcases Tennesseans' views on abortion, Common Core and Medicaid Expansion

NYT - Larry Bartels has documented that the rich have about three times as much influence as the poor on votes in the United States Senate.

VoxWhy the Israel-Palestine conversation is so polarized -  A 2006 study by Larry Bartels and Chris Achen (Princeton) is referenced. 

Vanderbilt News In 2013, Seigenthaler and author David Maraniss co-led a conversation at the First Amendment Center about the Gettysburg Address to mark its 150th anniversary...

Washington Post  - U.S. presidential election results, for example, can be remarkably and accurately predicted by economic growth preceding the election...

More Media

Upcoming Events

  • 4/10/15 CSDI Weekly Seminar - David Lewis


Meet the Directors

Related Blogs

Like CSDI on Facebook!

Contact the CSDI

The Center for the Study of
Democratic Institutions
Vanderbilt University
PMB 505
230 Appleton Place
Nashville TN 37203

CSDI Poster




Phone: 615.875.6954
Fax: 615.343.6003