About Clifford Young President, US
Ipsos Public Affairs

Cliff is the President of Public Affairs in the US. 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’ US election polling for Reuters, and is the spokesperson for Ipsos Public Affairs in the US.

Cliff 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. Cliff has polled on over 80 elections around the world; most recently he successfully completed polling on 25 races for the US midterms 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, Cliff 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.

Cliff earned his BA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa) and did his graduate work at the University of Chicago (MA and PhD). He also trained as a survey statistician at the University of Michigan and in Political Psychology at Stanford.

Articles by Clifford Young

Why Donald Trump has a 90 percent chance of winning the Republican nomination

New Hampshire, South Carolina and now Nevada: the evidence is mounting that Donald Trump will be the Republican presidential nominee. Those who doubt a Trump victory believe that Republican voters will at some point come to their senses, while others see a narrowing field as one that favors Trump’s competition. We have always been bullish on a Trump nomination. Indeed, in September, we gave Trump a 45 percent chance of being nominated. Today, less than a week before Super Tuesday, we give Trump a 90 percent chance of winning the Republican Party nomination based on the available evidence.

Here’s why.


Forget the debate: Two simple reasons a Republican will likely win in 2016

The following article by Clifford Young and Julia Clark originally appeared in Reuters: Elections are not mysterious events subject to the whimsy of unpredictable candidates and voters. They’re actually highly predictable, with a set of variables that influence outcomes in familiar ways. Because of that, we can say, with reasonable confidence, that a Republican…


Election Poll Accuracy Over Time

Election polls especially suffer from two specific types of measurement error: (1) election salience among voters at the time of the poll and (2) strategic voting decisions at the time of the vote which are at odds with poll responses. On point one, the research literature shows that the farther a poll is out from…


What an Actual Trump Voter Looks Like

This post, written by Cliff Young and Julia Clark, originally appeared in The Daily Beast.  We thought Trump was just a summer fling for the GOP, but it’s becoming increasingly more likely that some Republicans have met their match. Donald Trump has been a larger-than-life figure for almost a generation: businessman, entertainer, pageant purveyor, and…


Incumbency is King! Political Fundamentals Put Dems and Clinton’s Odds at Only 30%

Polls, pundits and even bookmakers have already elected President Hillary Clinton. However, at this point in the Game of Oval Office Thrones, models are better oracles than polls – and the models do not like her odds.

Hillary a Slam Dunk, Right?

We are still twenty months out from the US presidential election and ten months from the first primary, but the electoral season is in full swing. Already many pundits are speculating about who will and will not take the White House in November of 2016. At the moment, Hillary Clinton is the consensus favorite. Most cite her polling numbers, popular appeal to women, and formidable war chest.


Meet Clifford Young | President, US Public Affairs

Get to know Clifford Young, President, US Public Affairs as he discusses how pollsters are born rather than made, and why he finds managing and solving complex research puzzles involving public policy and political polling so interesting!


All Presidents have their Waterloo: Reflections on Obama’s Declining Approval Ratings

The Obama administration is definitely in a funk.  Polls of all stripes have shown a strong decline in his approval ratings.  Indeed, shows that from Obama’s inauguration in late January  to mid-December 2012 his approval ratings have dropped by about 11 points—51 to 42 (see below).


Incumbency is still King: Brazil’s Dilma is still the favorite in 2014, even after the protests.

The Brazilian presidential election is more than a year away. But already pundits and the odds-makers are assessing President Dilma’s chances of being reelected.  For many, dark clouds are on her horizon.  Why?

Some cite a very lethargic economy with inflation and unemployment ticking up.  Others stress the recent widespread protests as a general sign of the public’s discontent with Dilma and the PT.  Still others argue that the rise of the middle class has shifted voter priorities from the economy and jobs to quality of life issues like healthcare, crime, transportation, and education, with the Dilma government being ill-prepared to meet these new demands.


Storm clouds on the Brazilian horizon? President Dilma’s poll numbers and her reelection chances

In 2010, Dilma Rouseff, Lula’s handpicked successor, won easily in the second round run-off election against Jose Serra, the opposition candidate (Dilma 56% of vote versus 44% Serra).  At the time, many analysts thought Dilma would stumble—lacking both the charisma and political skills of her predecessor Lula and, as a result, would lean heavily on Lula’s skills and credibility.  Contrary to this popular belief , Dilma has established herself as a strong leader, with little tolerance for corruption, and a strong streak of independence.

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Teetering on the edge: The 2013 Kenyan Presidential election

Today, Keynans will vote for a new president.  The whole world is watching as well.  Why?  The last Kenyan presidential election in 2007 lead to widespread violence as supporters of Raila Odinga accused Mwai Kibaki and his supporters of stealing the election. Given that politics in Kenya is often strongly linked to tribal affiliation, much of the violence was directed by members of one tribe toward those of another. At its core, much of the violence found its origins in many long-standing economic grievances. Against this backdrop, the international community has kept a close eye on this election.

One constitutional change resulting from the violence in 2007 was that if no one candidate gets a majority of the votes, there will automatically be a second round run-off election between the top two vote getters within 30 days of the first round election-day.

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