Tech and Society Week – Politics and Polling: Practices, Perceptions and Public Confidence hosted by MDI and GU Politics

On March 28th from 1:30 to 2:30pm in Copley Formal Lounge, the McCourt School of Public Policy’s Massive Data Institute (MDI) and the Institute of Politics and Public Service will host a panel discussion on political polling during Tech & Society Week 2023. 

Politics and Polling: Practices, Perceptions and Public Confidence
Tuesday, March 28, 2023
Copley Formal Lounge
The panel discussion will be followed by a reception.

Panel Abstract: The last two presidential elections have led to scrutiny and debate over how political polling is conducted and how it is used (and misused) by campaigns, parties, political pundits, and the public at large. Join GU Politics and MDI for a discussion with polling experts about the challenges polling faces today and what to expect in 2024. 

This event is open to the public. RSVP required.

Meet the panelists

Moderator – Chris Stirewalt Senior Fellow, American Enterprise Institute (AEI); Contributing Editor and Weekly Columnist, The Dispatch; Political Editor, NewsNation; former Political Editor, Fox News; GU Spring 2023 Politics Fellow

Chris Stirewalt is a Fellow at Georgetown University’s Institute of Politics and Public Service. He is also senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where he focuses on American politics, voting trends, public opinion, and the media. He serves as contributing editor and weekly columnist for The Dispatch and political editor at NewsNation. Before joining AEI, he was political editor at Fox News Channel, where he helped coordinate political coverage across the network and specialized in on-air analysis of polls and voting trends. He is the author of “Broken News: Why the Media Rage Machine Divides America and How to Fight Back.”


Jennifer Agiesta CNN Director of Polling and Election Analytics

Jennifer Agiesta is Director of Polling and Election Analytics at CNN, where she oversees the network’s polling and leads its Election Night Decision Team. Agiesta previously served as director of polling at The Associated Press and as polling analyst at The Washington Post. At Edison Research, she helped build the National Election Pool exit poll operation. Prior to her media work, Agiesta conducted messaging research for the DC firms Belden, Russonello & Stewart and Greenberg Quinlan Rosner. In May 2023, she will take over as president of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR), where she currently serves as vice president.


Fred Yang Chief Executive Officer, Hart Research Associates

Frederick S. Yang is the Chief Executive Officer of Hart Research Associates and founding principal of its political division — Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group. His clients include U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen (Maryland), Bob Casey (Pennsylvania), and Jon Ossoff (Georgia), Governors Andy Beshear (Kentucky) and Wes Moore (Maryland), several members of Congress, and various state and local officials across the country. He was named by Roll Call to its list of “Consultants Who Make A Difference” and recognized by Campaigns & Elections magazine for “his ability to master the local nuances of a race.”


Whit Ayres Founder and President of North Star Opinion Research

Whit Ayres is a leading political consultant and Founder and President of North Star Opinion Research. With more than 30 years of experience in polling and survey research, Ayres has advised numerous high level political clients including U.S. Senators Marco Rubio, Lamar Alexander, Lindsey Graham, Jim Inhofe, and John Kennedy, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, current and former Tennessee Governors Bill Lee and Bill Haslam, and former Senator Bob Corker. He was named Republican Pollster of the Year in 2012 by the American Association of Political Consultants, where he has served as Treasurer, President, and Chairman at various times over the course of 20 years. He is the author of “2016 and Beyond: How Republicans Can Elect a President in the New America.”


Jonathan M. Ladd, Ph.D. Associate Professor in the McCourt of Public Policy and Department of Government, Georgetown University; Nonresident Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution

Jonathan Ladd is an associate professor at Georgetown University, where he holds appointments in the McCourt School of Public Policy and Department of Government. He is a political scientist who specializes in public opinion, survey research and experiments. His published work examines trust in the news media, trends in confidence in national institutions broadly, the persuasive effects of partisan news sources, and the consequences of social media for politics and society. He is the author of Why Americans Hate the Media and How it Matters, and the co-author of Words that Matter: How the News and Social Media Shaped the 2016 Presidential Campaign. He has published articles in the American Journal of Political Science, Quarterly Journal of Political Science, Public Opinion Quarterly, Political Behavior and Political Psychology.


Accommodations: Please contact with any questions about the event, and by March 21, 2023 for accessibility requests.

About the Massive Data Institute (MDI): At Georgetown’s McCourt School of Public Policy, the Massive Data Institute (MDI) is an interdisciplinary research institute that connects experts across computer science, data science, public health, public policy, and social science to tackle societal scale issues and impact public policy in ways that improves people’s lives through responsible evidence-based research. For more information on MDI, please visit

About the Institute of Politics and Public Service (GU Politics): GU Politics connects and empowers students and the broader community to improve and reimagine politics and public service and reaffirm its promise. Founded as part of the McCourt School of Public Policy in the fall of 2015, GU Politics programming is open to the entire Georgetown community. For more information on GU Politics, please visit

About Tech & Society Week: Tech & Society Week is a week of events across campus, exploring various issues at the nexus of technology and society. To learn more visit   

Transportation: Georgetown University is accessible for faculty, staff, students and visitors through many convenient transportation options, including our free university shuttle, public transportation, bicycling, carsharing and other means. Learn more about transportation options here.
See here (Interactive map) or here (PDF) for a Georgetown University campus map.

Members of the Public: Georgetown University looks forward to your upcoming visit. This event is following University public health guidelines. Please complete Step #1 now which can be found at this link: and you will be notified about Step #2 the morning of the event. Check-in will be taken at the door.

Questions? Please contact