Home » Andrew Kohut, Leading Public Opinion Pollster and Founding Director of Pew Research Center, Died

Andrew Kohut, Leading Public Opinion Pollster and Founding Director of Pew Research Center, Died

by | Sep 9, 2015

One of this nation’s leading public opinion pollsters, Andrew Kohut, a frequent presence in print and on television and radio, especially during election seasons, has died.

According to the LA Times, when Kohut was in college in the mid-1960s, he was studying sociology and hadn’t given a thought to polling as a profession. Then suddenly he needed a job.

“My wife and I were having a baby,” he said in a 2008 interview with the Washington Examiner, “and we didn’t have health insurance.”

According to the LA Times story, Kohut “got work at the Gallup Organization and never looked back.

“Kohut, 73, who was the director of the Times Mirror Center for the People & the Press in the 1990s and a founding director of the nonpartisan Pew Research Center, died Tuesday at John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.

“The cause was chronic lymphocytic leukemia, said his wife, Diane Colasanto.

“In one of his best-known polls of recent years, he found that little divides people in this country more than whether they are Democrats or Republicans.

““What’s happened is that we have much broader differences by party affiliation than by any of the things that typically describe public opinion,” he said in a 2012 interview on National Public Radio. “The income gaps, the education gaps, the religious gaps, they’re all the same as they were 25 years ago.”

“Not just looking at the numbers, but placing them in a historical and human context were hallmarks of Kohut’s work.”

Kohut believed polling gave voice to the masses who weren’t pundits on television or couldn’t afford to buy an ad, the LA Times stated.


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