From now through Election Day, Colby government faculty will conduct a series of public opinion polls on issues relating to Maine and the nation. The goal is to engage students in elections, particularly through data science, and to provide new information and thoughtful commentary on the 2020 election. The first poll was released on February 18 in conjunction with the Wall Street Journal. This project is being funded by the McVey Data Science Initiative and the Colby College Office of the President.

Second Poll Results (7/28/20):

First Poll Results (2/18/20):

Cross Tabs

Second Poll (7/28/20):

Click for spreadsheet | Click for Method Statement

First Poll (2/18/20):

Click for spreadsheet

Project Faculty


Dan Shea
Daniel M. Shea is Professor and Chair of the Department of
Government at Colby College. He has written widely on parties and elections, with a
specialization in campaign management. His more recent book, published in 2019, is
Why Vote? Essential Questions About the Future of Elections in America. A
few of his other books include,
Can We Talk? The Rise of Rude, Nasty Stubborn Politics; Campaign Craft;
Campaign Mode; and Presidential Elections Decoded. Shea is an
expert in voter behavior, having conducted a number of studies based on national
public opinion polls. He was one of the first scholars, for instance, to provide
detailed public opinion data on the decline of civility in American politics. Before
becoming an academic, Shea was a campaign consultant.

Cell: 207-620-2326


Carrie Levan
Carrie LeVan is an Assistant Professor of Government at Colby
College. She is an expert on voter mobilization and social networks and their role
in affecting the participation of individuals from varying socioeconomic and
racial/ethnic backgrounds. Her recent journal publication titled “Neighborhoods that Matter: How Place and People Affect Political
” is part of a larger project that examines the relationship between neighborhood
characteristics and civic engagement. Specifically, she explores how both the
physical design and racial/ethnic/class composition of one’s neighborhood impacts
neighbor-to-neighbor contact and how these neighborly interactions subsequently
affect one’s propensity to participate in politics and one’s attitudes towards
racial/ethnic minorities and the poor.

Cell: 661-302-0847


Nicholas Jacobs
Nicholas Jacobs is a Faculty Fellow in the Department of Government
at Colby College. He writes widely on executive-branch policymaking,
intergovernmental relations, and geographic inequality. His most recent research on
America’s growing urban-rural divide has been featured in Publius: The Journal of
Federalism, Political Research Quarterly, and The Forum. The American Political
Science Association recognized his scholarship with the John Kincaid Award from the
section on Federalism and Intergovernmental Affairs, and he has published in
numerous other scholarly outlets including Perspectives on Politics, Presidential
Studies Quarterly, and Studies in American Political Development. His work has been
featured in The Washington Post, the BBC, and The Atlantic. His most recent book
project tackles the question of how populist insurgencies have transformed the
two-party system since the founding period, eroding constitutional limits on federal
and executive power as a result.

Cell: 434-465-7971

Media Contact

George Sopko, Director of Media Relations, or 207-859-4346.