This paper focuses on some key problems of democratic theory and how they can be solved through new institutions modeled on ″Deliberative Polling″. It then argues that many of the practical impediments to realizing these institutions can be more easily overcome, in the long run, in virtual space. The result is a realizable picture of virtual democratic possibilities that combine key values that are in great tension in most democratic institutions.The paper begins with econundrum of how to simultaneously realize two fundamental democratic values— political equality and deliberation—in the large scale nation state. It then looks at various forms of public consultation in terms of the degree to which they achieve one or another of these values. It looks especially at forms of public consultation that presently take place on the internet and finds them lacking in both political equality and deliberation. It argues that Deliberative Polling offers the best realization of both basic values.Political equality is achieved through random sampling (giving each person an equal chance of being the decisive voter) and through equality in the discussion process. Deliberation is achieved through moderated and balanced small group discussions and balanced panels of experts who respond to the questions from the participants. Various criteria for evaluating both political equality and deliberation are discussed and appliedThe paper then surveys how Deliberative Polling has been employed, both in face to face and online contexts so as to achieve these two basic values. The two first online Deliberative Polls (both conducted recently at Stanford University) are discussed as well as a third (in the US Presidential election of 2004) that will just have been completed at the time of this conference. Some discussion will be offered of whether or not the same desirable characteristics of deliberation that we find in face to face Deliberative Polls can be achieved online. Some of these characteristics include: a) participation by representative samples b) the participants becoming measurably more well informed c) deliberative opinion being significantly different from top of the head opinion d) the opinion changes being connected to the information gains e) development of greater preference structuration so that cycles undermining the collective coherence of democracy become less likely f) the process avoiding objectionable small group effects such as the ″polarization″ posited by Cass Sunstein or the pattern of group conformity that is sometimes called ″group think.″While the evidence is incomplete, there is nevertheless some considerable support for the proposition that just as these normatively desirable results seem to arise in face to face Deliberative Polls, they also seem, by and large, to arise online (with the exception of e) which has not been tested yet by appropriate ranking questions).