Clifford Young

Clifford Young

Adjunct Lecturer, Latin American Studies Program
Latin American Studies

Expertise

Regions
  • Brazil
  • Latin America
  • Venezuela
Topics
  • Elections and Foreign Policy
  • Emerging Markets
  • Statistics

Background and Education

Clifford Young is the Managing Director of Ipsos Public Affairs' Polling and Public Sector practice in the United States. His research specialties include social and public opinion trends, crisis management, political risk polling and political polling. He has worked with a wide variety of corporate, government, media, and political clients. He currently oversees Ipsos’ U.S. election polling for Reuters and is the spokesperson for Ipsos Public Affairs in the United States.

Young is considered an expert on polling in emerging markets, as well as polling in adverse and hostile conditions. Before coming to Ipsos Public Affairs North America, he was Managing Director of Ipsos Public Affairs Brazil, where he started the practice for Ipsos. Young has polled on over 80 elections around the world; most recently he successfully completed polling on 25 races for the U.S. midterm elections in 2010, the Nigerian Presidential and Gubernatorial elections in 2011, the Federal and Parliamentary elections in Canada in 2011, as well as the Egyptian and Kuwaiti Parliamentary elections in 2011/2012.

Trained in survey sampling and survey methods design, Young has led on more than 50 full sample designs in the following countries: Mexico, Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Chile, South Africa, Russia, India, Indonesia, China, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Palestine, Lebanon, United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Afghanistan, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Spain, Italy, Mozambique, Angola, Guinea Bissau, and New Caledonia.  He is a frequent writer, analyst, and commentator on elections, electoral polling, and public opinion.

Young earned his PhD from the University of Chicago. He also trained as a survey statistician at the University of Michigan and in Political Psychology at Stanford University.


2015-04-09 00:00:00 
...
Spring 2018 
A key driver in...
A key driver in any democracy, public opinion determines who will govern and which policies will be likely to succeed. Contrary to general beliefs that public opinion is highly ephemeral, both practice and scientific evidence show that public opinion is a stable, measurable, and ultimately predictable phenomenon. To explore the issue both conceptually and in practice, the course will first offer a review and discussion of relevant literature on the subject and then analyze concrete case studies exploring the uses and misuses of public opinion and polling by political and policy stakeholders. Likely case studies will include primarily Latin American examples, such as the 2002 Lula election, but also extra-regional cases, such as the 2008 Obama election and the Arab Spring, among others. The final objective is to develop a critical eye when analyzing public policy and political problems.
Spring 2017 
Public opinion ...
Public opinion is a key driver in any democracy. It determines who will govern and helps determine which policies will be more (and less) likely to succeed. In practice, the use of public opinion as a decision input often faces belief systems, which minimize its importance. At a political level, pundits, politicians, and political wonks often see public opinion as highly ephemeral-easily influenced when the right messages are pushed. At a public policy level, policymakers often focus on the most “technically sweet” policy solution, without considering public opinion. Contrary to these beliefs, however, both practice and the scientific evidence show that public opinion is a stable, measurable, and, ultimately, predictable phenomenon. The course will explore the issue both conceptually and in practice. First, it will include a review and discussion of relevant scientific and academic literature on the subject: What is public opinion? How has it been defined over the years? What is the difference between elite and public opinion? Are elites good at predicting public opinion? Does public opinion actually predict elite behavior? Can public opinion be influenced? And if so, under what conditions? What are fuzzy and non-fuzzy issues? And how do they affect our ability to say something about public opinion? Second, the course will analyze concrete case-studies exploring the uses and misuses of public opinion and polling by political and policy stakeholders. Likely case studies will include: the 2005 Brazilian vote buying scandal, the Obama Election 2008, the Lula Election 2002, U.S. healthcare reform 2009, Brazilian privatization 1992–1999, the Arab Spring, populism in Latin America, the 2012 Venezuelan Elections, and Post–9/11 U.S. Soft Power and Public Diplomacy. Students will be expected to participate in lively debates during each session. The final objective is to develop a critical eye when analyzing public policy and political problems.