Polling Station sign

Election Polling


Yuangling (Annie) Wang, a Math/Stats major, and Jason Law, a Math/Econ major, spent ten weeks analyzing message-testing data about the 2015 Marijuana Legalization Initiative in Ohio; the data were provided by Public Opinion Strategies, one of the nation’s leading public opinion research firms.

The goal was to understand how statistics and machine learning might help develop microtargeting strategies for use in future campaigns.

Project Results

The team used random forest and decision tree regression in an attempt to predict message response from other survey answers and various demographic factors. Some prediction power was obtained, and recommendations about future data collection techniques were discussed with the client.

Download the Executive Summary (PDF)

Faculty Sponsors

  • Frederick Mayer, Professor, Sanford School
  • Land Elliot, Associate Director, POLIS

Project Manager

  • Laura Lazarus Frankel Ph.D. Candidate, Political Science


Disciplines Involved

  • Public Policy
  • Political Science

Related People


Mathematics, Economics

Mathematics, Statistical Science