Pollster Franklin joins Marquette faculty

Nationally recognized government scholar and pollster Charles Franklin is joining Marquette University Law School on a full-time basis, and the school will continue its groundbreaking Marquette Law School Poll into the future, the Rev. Scott Pilarz, S.J., university president, announced.

Franklin served as a visiting professor at Marquette University Law School during 2012. He will continue in his role as poll director and become a professor of law and public policy. Franklin has been a professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison since 1992.

“Professor Franklin’s appointment is one of the first steps in implementing the university’s strategic plan, approved last week by the board of trustees,” said Pilarz. “The Marquette Law School Poll, like the Law School’s public policy initiative more generally, has prompted us to reach beyond traditional academic boundaries, to embrace new and collaborative methods of research and service, and to help drive the conversation on important questions affecting the region, state and nation.”

Franklin led the Marquette Law School Poll during the highly scrutinized 2012 election cycle, establishing Marquette as the definitive source for information concerning public opinion in Wisconsin. It was the largest independent polling project in state history and accurately captured voter attitudes before every major election in 2012, including the gubernatorial recall, the U.S. Senate and presidential races.

With his move to Marquette, Franklin will use the Marquette Law School Poll to explore additional public policy issues and track upcoming political races of interest to voters. Franklin will present the latest poll in an “On the Issues” session at the Law School on Tuesday at 12:15 p.m.

“Professor Franklin brings a unique set of skills: he is a nationally renowned polling expert, able to communicate helpful information to the media, and a first-rate scholar of government and public opinion, able to engage in the academy on a high level,” said Joseph Kearney, dean of Marquette Law School. “I am delighted to welcome Professor Franklin to the Law School on a full-time basis, and I anticipate the continued success and even expansion of the Marquette Law School Poll under his direction.”

In addition to his academic work, Franklin co-founded Pollster.com, which became an award-winning site for nonpartisan polling analysis. He has been a member of the ABC News election-night analysis team since 2002. He is also past president of the Society for Political Methodology and an elected fellow of the society.

“Marquette Law School has created a unique opportunity to contribute to the public conversation about issues facing our state and nation through both the polling and policy discussions it convenes,” said Franklin. “I look forward to collaborating with colleagues across the university to educate the next generation of leaders and to ensure that Marquette is a resource for the region. As I welcome this new opportunity, I also appreciate with great fondness two extraordinary decades at UW-Madison and my wonderful colleagues there.” 

Through the work of Franklin, Mike Gousha, distinguished fellow in law and public policy, and various faculty, Marquette Law School will continue to explore the issues that matter most in the region. 

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