A basic question when reading a poll: Does it include or exclude nonvoters?
Opinion polls in the U.S. can address the same topic yet reach very different results. There are several reasons this can happen, but we tackle one of the most basic: Did the poll include or exclude the 45% who didn’t vote in November?
Video: Why 2016 election polls missed their mark
The results of the 2016 presidential election came as a surprise to nearly everyone who had been following the national and state election polling
Why 2016 election polls missed their mark
There is a great deal of speculation but no clear answers as to the cause of the disconnect, but there is one point of agreement: Across the board, polls underestimated Trump’s level of support.
Just how does the general election exit poll work, anyway?
The firm that runs the presidential exit poll expects to interview about 100,000 voters across the country by the time the polls close on election night.
Putting post-debate ‘flash polls’ into perspective
In the aftermath of presidential debates, there is intense interest in gauging “who won.” How can we know the answer to that question?
Flashpoints in Polling
Many people wonder: Can polls be trusted? The following essay contains a big-picture review of the state of polling, organized around a number of key areas.
Moving Without Changing Your Cellphone Number: A Predicament for Pollsters
By Meredith Dost and Kyley McGeeney Each year about 36 million Americans move residences, according to the Census Bureau. And they quite often take their cellphone numbers with them. Others have not moved but bought their cellphone in a different state. The net result, according to new Pew Research Center estimates, is that 10% of […]
In the age of big data, survey research will not only survive but thrive
The next frontier of public-opinion research is already visible in the “big data” revolution. Through the digital traces of our everyday activities, we are creating a massive volume of information that can tell us a lot about ourselves. Smart data science can identify patterns in our behaviors and interests. And in some domains, such as […]
The challenges of polling Asian Americans
Why aren’t Asian Americans shown as a separate group when differences among whites, blacks and Hispanics are discussed in survey reports? It’s a good question, so we put together a summary of some of the methodological and other issues on accurately polling U.S. Asians.
What we learned about online nonprobability polls
The advantages of these online surveys are obvious – they are fast and relatively inexpensive, and the technology for them is pervasive. But are they accurate?