pollster and political scientist, Arizona State University
Bruce Merrill retired from the Cronkite School in May 2008 after 35 years of teaching. He continues to conduct the Cronkite/Eight Poll, a statewide monthly survey of Arizona voters. Merrill joined the ASU faculty in 1971, but when the journalism-telecommunication faculty was expanded in 1988, Merrill was sought out because of his reputation as a researcher in the areas of political behavior and political media communications. Merrill’s first major assignment in fall 1988 was to establish a Media Research Program in the Cronkite School. Under Merrill’s direction the School launched the Cactus State Poll in conjunction with KAET-TV in 1990. The Media Research Program is used to conduct public opinion polls and to train students in the design and interpretation of the polls. Merrill has overseen more than 500 surveys during the past decade and has served as a consultant to scores of newspapers, television stations and corporations. The surveys have focused on a variety of issues as well as marketing and advertising strategies. Results have been disseminated widely by major national and international newspapers and electronic media outlets. Merrill taught courses in public opinion, political communication and quantitative research methodology with an emphasis on survey research. Merrill’s undergraduate major was mathematics and his master’s in political science. His doctorate in political behavior is from the University of Michigan where he trained at the Institute for Social Research.