The Phantom Respondents

Opinion Surveys and Political Representation
John Brehm
Examines a fundamental problem for opinion polls and those who use them


Polls and surveys pervade political and social life in ways that are both conspicuous and subtle. We gauge the success of presidential aspirants by how well they score in polls broadcast on the nightly news. Our political leaders and candidates for every major office study the polls to identify the public's preferences on controversial policies. The Phantom Respondent's develops the simple premise that public opinion surveys and polls have become a modern vehicle for political representation, and that, therefore, we must attend to the quality of representation that surveys and polls provide.

Praise / Awards

  • ". . . John Brahma presents a broad and detailed empirical analysis of the effects of nonresponse on survey results and traces out the profound implications of that analysis. . . . Brehm's volume provides a great deal of important analysis for survey researchers and political scientists to think about and act upon."
    American Political Science Review
  • ". . . a worthwhile read that deserves special attention by those interested and engaged in quantitative analysis of political science. We as consumers of, and occasionally producers of, survey research need to be aware of the importance of and issues surrounding survey nonresponse. By making the dangers of nonresponse clear and offering helpful tools to deal with them, this book performs a valuable service to the field."
    Political Methodologist
  • ". . . as riveting and as surprising as a John Grisham thriller."
    —Richard Morin, Washington Post National Weekly Edition

Product Details

  • 280 pages.
  • numerous tables, figures.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Ebook
  • 2009
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-02296-0

  • PDF: Adobe Digital Editions e-book (DRM Protected)

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  • $44.95 U.S.

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