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Hendrix Renews and Expands Political Polling Project

Roby and Jay - Hendrix (18 of 19) 2018.07.13 release.jpg

CONWAY, Ark. (July 13, 2018) – Hendrix College will renew and expand its polling partnership with Talk Business & Politics, a news media outlet focused exclusively on Arkansas business, politics, and public affairs, for 2018-2019.

The partnership began in 2010 as a natural extension of a longtime mutual interest in Arkansas news and politics between two Hendrix alumni. Talk Business & Politics founder Roby Brock ’88 and Hendrix politics professor Dr. Jay Barth ’87 write the poll questions and analyze the results. 

Over the past eight years, the polls have filled an important news media niche, offering seasoned analysis on Arkansas residents’ views of state and national elections, ballot initiatives, and issues, based on raw data from automated and live caller polling. 

In addition to Talk Business & Politics and its state media partners that share the poll results, Brock has contributed analysis from the polls to CNN and C-SPAN during national election cycles.

“Our polling efforts have become a staple of Arkansas politics,” said Brock. “In the eight years that we’ve been conducting our surveys, we’ve had a high degree of accuracy in understanding shifting voter attitudes towards candidates and issues. It has helped drive our coverage and I look forward to our expanded partnership with Hendrix College.” 

The project also offers a unique hands-on learning opportunity for Hendrix students interested in politics. As part of the arrangement with Talk Business & Politics, Hendrix students help design the surveys that are carried out; student analysis of the results is at the center of distinctive engaged learning assignments that enhance undergraduate classes. 

“Surveys are at the center of social science research,” said Barth. “It’s incredibly helpful for students to see a survey from start to finish to aid them in becoming more responsible users of data from such surveys, and it also prepares them for their own research projects down the line.” 

This year, Brock and Barth will increase the number of polls to at least six each year, up from three or four. They also hope to develop an annual poll in the spring, designed and executed largely by undergraduate students, that focuses on 18- to 29-year-olds’ views on a topic or topics connected to education.

“With this newly expanded relationship, in addition to continuing polling work in classes as in the past, I will develop a team of students who will shadow our work on the polls during the campaign season. Then, in the spring semester, they will take the reins for the design, analysis, and presentation of a survey deeply relevant to their generation,” Barth said.

About Hendrix College

A private liberal arts college in Conway, Arkansas, Hendrix College consistently earns recognition as one of the country’s leading liberal arts institutions, and is featured in Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About Colleges. Its academic quality and rigor, innovation, and value have established Hendrix as a fixture in numerous college guides, lists, and rankings. Founded in 1876, Hendrix has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884. To learn more, visit