Dr. Drew Gold


Times flies when you’re conducting polls. After seven quarterly polls and three snap—or instant—polls, Saint Leo University has already been in the public opinion survey business for two years.

In December 2013, Saint Leo University launched its own public opinion polling enterprise—the Saint Leo University Polling Institute. The polls’ findings, on a national and statewide scale, are released four times a year with several snap polls on timely issues conducted periodically.

Since the inaugural poll, the polling institute has released findings on national and statewide politics, religious issues, technology, and seasonal/timely topics relating to consumer culture. More recently, respondents have been surveyed on global climate change, influential Supreme Court decisions, and the relaxation of trade relations with Cuba, among the assorted topics posed to consumers nationwide and in Florida. The surveys always include a question about Pope Francis’ popularity.

The polling institute’s survey topics align with the expertise of our faculty, who help craft the survey questions, interpret the findings, and offer adept analysis to the media. Coverage has been hugely successful, and the university’s reputation has been enhanced. The operation utilizes technology (the majority of polls are conducted online) to capture the views of the American public on important issues that merit attention.

Dr. Drew Gold, associate professor of management and the institute’s director, facilitates the selection of topics for future polls by faculty and staff. He is pleased with the poll’s success and impact: “Our analysis of the poll results offers a unique perspective on issues of national and regional interest,” said Dr. Gold. “By utilizing our faculty’s expert knowledge, we can observe, analyze, and offer critical insight on various issues of interest to the American public.”

The Sunshine State continues to be a bellwether both demographically and politically of national trends. In addition, pollsters continue to examine Florida as a key battleground state in national elections. With the national general election only a year away, the institute is ramping up for intense political opinion collection and results sharing on the presidential race, as well as key Senate, House of Representatives, and gubernatorial contests nationally and statewide. The eighth quarterly survey is scheduled for release in late October.

During the past two years, the polling institute has gained credibility with news organizations and political pundits, and survey results have been reported from as far away as India and Thailand. That credibility strengthens the Saint Leo brand as the leading Catholic teaching university of international consequence for the 21st century and, ultimately, increases the value of a Saint Leo education.

For more information about the Saint Leo University Polling Institute, visit: http://polls.saintleo.edu.