Diane D. Blair Center for Southern Politics & Society

About the Blair Center Poll

The Blair Center Poll is a comprehensive poll of national attitudes regarding politics and public policy, with a special focus on the American South that was administered in 2010, 2012 and 2016.

An interdisciplinary group of scholars with the Diane D. Blair Center of Southern Politics and Society at the University of Arkansas founded the poll to gain a better understanding of contemporary Southern voters and their perspective on national politics.

The most recent national survey was fielded immediately following the November 2016 presidential elections. Its representative oversample of Caucasians, African Americans, and Latinos living in the former states of the Confederate South and in the continental non-South makes it, consequently, the only rigorous academic survey with a specific focus on the South, African Americans and Latinos.

Relatively few organizations currently conduct regular regional surveys with a focus on political and policy questions. Furthermore, changes across the South in regard to minority populations and identity politics make the use of existing national surveys less than ideal indicators of Southern political attitudes and policy trends.

One of the goals of the Blair Center Poll is to look at social-cultural influences on political values, which include attitudes and behaviors of African Americans and Latinos in the South. The immigration of Latino populations and the migration of African Americans back to the South are producing changes in the ethnic and racial composition of the population and of both the national and Southern electorate.

These groups differ greatly in the nature of ethnic and racial identity, political consciousness, and attachment to American ideological and political institutions. In order to address the lack of accurate data on the contemporary South and minorities, the Blair Center Poll will oversample both African American and Latino populations to ensure an accurate analysis of contemporary Southern attitudes and behaviors.

Ensuring representative samples of groups that have traditionally been underrepresented in public opinion polls will allow researchers and those who implement policy to have access to a truly representative sample of the opinions and community needs of African Americans, Latinos and Southern whites.

In 2010, The Blair Center Poll was co-sponsored by the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute, and the 2012 was co-sponsored by the Clinton School of Public Service.* The 2016 Poll was sponsored solely by the Blair Center. All polls were conducted by Knowledge Networks.

* Due to the candidacy of Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election, the Clinton School of Public Service did not co-sponsor the 2016 poll, nor participate in any development or discussions regarding the poll, to avoid any potential or perceived conflicts of interests.