The Los Angeles Times Poll was begun in November 1977, with leadership provided by noted pollster Irwin "Bud" Lewis and Susan Pinkus serving as the field director (twenty years later, she took the reins as director). Initially, the survey focused on California populations, including state-wide polls with supplemental samples of residents of Los Angeles, but quickly came to include national adult polls on topics on topics facing the country. The Los Angeles Times Poll delved deeply into political issues, particularly elections, but many studies also addressed social and cultural issues, including work and the work ethic, race relations, marriage and family, and religion.
The Los Angeles Times Poll conducted its first election exit poll in the 1980 presidential race and continued to conduct independent national exit polls through the 2004 election, long after other media organizations had joined forces to conduct exit polls through a consortium. They also continued to conduct California exit polls, not only for presidential elections, but for Los Angeles mayoral races and gubernatorial elections. Los Angeles Times also collaborated on a series of primarily political and election-related polls with Bloomberg News in the 2000s.
Among the more unusual polls conducted by Los Angeles Times were the 2002 and 1993 polls of Catholic priests and nuns in the U.S. [USLAT2002-471], [USLAT1993-323], [USLAT1993-321], a survey with The Yedieth Ahronoth of Israelis on the 50th anniversary of the state of Israel, with a companion survey of Jewish Americans a 1997 survey on the issues facing ethnically Chinese residents of California; and a 1992 survey of ethnic Koreans in Los Angeles. California news stories that became national news events received particular close attention from the poll, including the trial of the police caught on camera beating Rodney King and a 15-year retrospective on the Watts riots. The Poll conducted a particularly valuable pair of surveys for researchers interested in poverty issues in 1985 and 2016. These two polls included both national samples and samples of Americans living in poverty. The second was conducted with the American Enterprise Institute.
Decade and Datasets:
>2010s – 1
2000s – 116
1990s – 197
1980s – 143
1970s – 20