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Mason’s Schar School, Washington Post announce partnership on Virginia politics polls

November 1, 2016

George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government and the Washington Post have joined forces to conduct a series of political polls in Virginia over the next year, forging a strategic partnership that will illuminate voter sentiment on a broad range of political and public policy issues.

The Washington Post–Schar School polls will focus on elections, views of political leaders and key policies that are important to citizens of Virginia. The partnership combines the expertise of George Mason’s Schar School of Policy and Government with The Post’s formidable reach in the region and nationally.

“This partnership will provide valuable insight to voters throughout the commonwealth and help raise the conversation around issues that matter to our state,” said Schar School Dean Mark J. Rozell. “Through this series of polls, the Schar School and The Post will contribute to the public’s understanding of policy issues and elections, which is central to our mission as the state’s largest public policy program.”

The first poll will be released on Nov. 1 and provide data on the latest attitudes on the presidential election and how presidential voting impacts congressional races in the commonwealth.

“Virginia voters have diverse opinions and an important influence on the presidential election and state policies. We look forward to exploring more in-depth what they think about pressing issues from the state and national levels with the Schar School,” said Scott Clement, polling manager at The Post.

Future polling will focus on a number of key races in Virginia next year, including the gubernatorial race, the possible U.S. Senate race to fill Tim Kaine’s seat, should he become vice president, and a number of other key state races.

In addition to helping develop the questions, faculty members will have access to the raw polling data, enabling them and their students to explore in depth public opinion trend among different groups.

“Scholars who have access to the raw data can do a deeper dive,” said Rozell. “This is important to our mission as a top-tier research institution. Having original polling data that we can mine can give us a deep understanding of political and policy issues in Virginia.”

Mason’s staff of nationally recognized political scientists and public policy scholars will provide insight and analysis of the data. Students will have the opportunity in the classroom to study the data for their own research.

About the Washington Post

The Washington Post is an award-winning news leader whose mission is to connect, inform and enlighten local, national and global readers with trustworthy reporting, in-depth analysis and engaging opinions. It combines world-class journalism with the latest technology and tools so readers can interact with The Post anytime, anywhere.

About the Schar School of Policy and Government

The Schar School of Policy and Government is one of the largest schools of its kind in the country, with 14 programs and more than 2,000 students taught by more than 80 full-time faculty members. The school prepares undergraduate and graduate students to be leaders and managers who solve problems and advance the public good in all sectors and levels of government.

About George Mason

George Mason University is Virginia’s largest public research university. Located near Washington, D.C., Mason enrolls 35,000 students from 130 countries and all 50 states. Mason has grown rapidly over the past half-century and is recognized for its innovation and entrepreneurship, remarkable diversity and commitment to accessibility.