John Zogby

John Zogby

Infobox Person
name = John Zogby

caption =
birth_date = 1948
birth_place = Utica, New York
occupation = President/CEO
Zogby International
website =

John Zogby (born 1948) is an American political pollster and first senior fellow at The Catholic University of America's Life Cycle Institute. He is the founder, president and CEO of Zogby International, a polling firm known for both phone polling and interactive, Internet-based polling.


Early years

Zogby grew up in Utica, New York, the son of Lebanese Catholic immigrants. His brother, James Zogby, is the founder of the Arab American Institute, and is also employed by Zogby International.

Zogby is a graduate of Le Moyne College and Syracuse University. He has taught history and political science at the State University of New York, Utica College, and at the Arthur Levitt Public Affairs Center at Hamilton College. A trustee of Le Moyne College, Zogby received the Alumni Award in June, 2000. In 2005, he was awarded Honorary Doctorate Degrees from State University of New York and the Graduate School of Union University.


An interpreter of the political scene, Zogby had a brief stint as an aspiring politician himself in 1981, when he ran unsuccessfully for Mayor of Utica, New York. He describes himself as a Democrat, while his polling firm is "independent and nonpartisan." [cite web | author= | title=Frequently Asked Questions | url= | publisher=Zogby International | date=2008 | accessdate=2008-09-08]

;Zogby International Zogby founded the polling firm Zogby International in 1984. Since then, he has conducted polls and focus groups around the world, though he has gained the most publicity for his polls of United States Presidential elections.

He first gained attention in the 1992 presidential election when he released a survey showing the New York State Governor Mario Cuomo would lose in his home state to incumbent President George H. W. Bush. That poll is widely thought to have pushed Cuomo from the race. Later, he gained more national attention in the 1996 Presidential election when his final poll came within a tenth of a point of the actual result. Zogby also correctly polled the cliffhanger result of the 2000 presidential election won narrowly by George W. Bush, in contrast to most other pollsters who had expected Bush to win easily.

In 2004, while his actual polling was right on the money, his Election Day prediction failed to materialize. Before polls had even closed in the 2004 presidential election, Zogby predicted a comfortable win for John Kerry (311 electoral votes, versus 213 for Bush, with 14 too close to call), saying that "Bush had this election lost a long time ago," adding that voters wanted a change and would vote for "any candidate who was not Bush." While admitting that he was mistaken, Zogby did not admit any possible flaws in his polling methods, insisting that his predictions were all within the margin of error. While on "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart", he said he felt that Kerry would win due to the undecided voters. Despite his personal prediction, Zogby's final poll showed Bush with a one point lead over Kerry. [cite news | author= Alan Wirzbicki | title=Late polls are seen as largely accurate | url= | work=Boston Globe | date=5 November 2004| accessdate=2008-09-08] Zogby later released a "mea culpa" in which he stated "I will do better next time: I will just poll, not predict." [cite web | author=John Zogby | title=Mea Culpa: I am a Pollster, Not a Predictor | url= | publisher=Zogby International | date=08 November 2004 | accessdate=2008-09-08]

In 2006, Zogby phone polling correctly called all 10 competitive United States Senate races and nailed the exact margin in the three closest races. His interactive online polling correctly called the winner of 17 of 18 races, but was far off in the margin of victory of some races. [cite news | author=Carl Bialik | title=Grading the Pollsters | url= | work=The Wall Street Journal | date=16 November 2006 | accessdate=2008-09-08]

Prior to the January, 2008 New Hampshire Democratic primary, Zogby, like virtually all other pollsters, showed in his polling a large (13 points, in Zogby's case) lead for Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton, adding, "Obama is still on a roll and not slowing down. He had another big day." Clinton went on to win by three percentage points. Zogby's polling results in the Iowa Caucuses, and the South Carolina, and Florida primaries, however, were far closer, and he was one of only a few pollsters to correctly call Obama's Iowa win. However, his final poll in California showed Obama winning by 13%, but the actual results showed Hillary winning by 10%, a 23-point difference far beyond the margin of error.

Zogby has penned a comprehensive review of the process of polling the volatile 2008 Democratic Party nomination race between Obama and Clinton. [cite web | author=John Zogby | title= Election 2008: A Review So Far | url=| publisher=Zogby International | date=27 March 2008 | accessdate=2008-09-08]

Zogby has been known as an industry innovator, making it standard practice to weight his political polls using party indentification, which was not a common practice when he began to do so. Today, it is widely accepted as a best practice for the industry. Zogby himself credits this as one key reason his political polling has been so accurate over the years.

Another key reason for the Zogby success stems from his decision to maintain an in-house call center using live operators in Upstate New York. But, with the dramatic changes in the telephone industry in recent years, Zogby in 1998 began developing an interactive online polling methodology using a massive database of respondents that closely represents the national population at large. [cite web | author= | title=Election 2006—Zogby Polling on the Mark in Tumultuous Midterms | url= | publisher=Zogby International | date=17 March 2006 | accessdate=2008-09-08]

Zogby has also had success with elections in countries outside the United States. He correctly called the 2001 Israeli election for Ariel Sharon, the 2000 Mexican election for Vicente Fox and again in Mexico with the victory of Felipe Calderón in 2006. Also, Zogby has made a sideline of polling Arab attitudes toward the United States, particularly in regard to Lebanon.

Other activities

He writes a regular, standing political analysis column for Campaigns and Elections' Politics Magazine. And, since May 2005, he has been a contributing blogger at "The Huffington Post".

Zogby briefly co-hosted a weekly one-hour show, “The Pulse of the Nation,” which debuted on Nova M Radio in April 2007. [cite web | author=Press Release | title=Nova M Radio Launches "Pulse of the Nation" With John Zogby | url= | archiveurl= | publisher=Nova M Radio | date=6 April 2007 | archivedate= 2007-12-31 | accessdate=2008-09-08] He now hosts a weekly show called “Zogby’s Real America,” which debuted on XM Satellite Radio's POTUS 08 Channel 130 in September 2007. [cite press release | title=XM Radio to Launch First National Radio Channel Dedicated to the Presidential Election | url= | publisher=XM Satellite Radio | date=21 May 2008 | accessdate=2008-09-08] Daily radio vignettes are heard on POTUS 08, where Zogby's Real America co-host Fritz Wenzel provides commentary and analysis on fresh Zogby polling data.

Zogby is also a Senior Advisor at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and serves as the first Senior Fellow of the The Catholic University of America's Life Cycle Institute in Washington, D.C. He is also a member of the board of directors of the prestigious Advertising Research Foundation] , based in New York City.

He also serves on the Advisory Council for Bio-Technology for the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and is a Commissioner on the Center for Strategic and International Studies Commission on Smart Power. [cite web | author=Commission on Smart Power | title=John Zogby - Biography | url= | publisher=Center for Strategic and International Studies | date=2008 | accessdate=2008-09-08]

In 2006, he was honoured as a "Living Legend of Oneida County" (NY) for his community service work and his founding of a groundbreaking worldwide company.

He is the author of "The Way We'll Be", published by Random House in August 2008; it is an optimistic portrait of the new American consumer based on his polls.

Personal life

Zogby has three sons with his wife, Kathleen, a retired special education teacher. His interests include golf, basketball, and soccer coaching.




External links

* [ Zogby International]

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