MethodsDecember 6, 2018

How asking about your sleep, smoking or yoga habits can help pollsters verify their findings

Pew Research Center uses benchmarking questions to ensure our surveys are accurate. Learn why and how we use these questions.

Pew Research CenterNovember 1, 2018

Exit polls, election surveys and more: A guide for the 2018 midterms

On election night 2018, besides the exit polls there will be an additional source of data on who voted and why, developed by The Associated Press, Fox News and NORC at the University of Chicago and based on a very different methodology. That means that depending on where you go for election news, you may get a somewhat different portrait of this year’s electorate.

Pew Research CenterOctober 18, 2018

‘Defining the universe’ is essential when writing about survey data

Given the wide range of people we speak to for our polls – and the issues we ask them about – it’s important to be as clear as possible about exactly who says what. In research circles, this practice is sometimes called “defining the universe.”

Pew Research CenterAugust 3, 2018

When writing about survey data, 51% might not mean a ‘majority’

For many people, “majority” is a word so common that they rarely have to think twice about what it means. But it’s a different matter for polling organizations like Pew Research Center. At the Center, writers cannot label a survey finding a “majority” unless it meets specific criteria.

Pew Research CenterMay 14, 2018

Can we still trust polls?

Donald Trump’s victory in 2016 and the U.K. “Brexit” decision rattled public confidence in polls. Our new video explains why well-designed polls can be trusted.

Pew Research CenterJune 16, 2017

Q&A: Pew Research Center’s president on key issues in U.S. polling

Read a Q&A with Michael Dimock, president of Pew Research Center, on recent developments in public opinion polling and what lies ahead.

MethodsMay 15, 2017

What Low Response Rates Mean for Telephone Surveys

Telephone polls still provide accurate data on a wide range of social, demographic and political variables, but some weaknesses persist.

MethodsMay 12, 2017

Video Explainer: Understanding random sampling for public opinion surveys

The first video in our “Methods 101” series is about random sampling, a concept that undergirds all probability-based survey research. Here’s how it works.

Pew Research CenterMay 4, 2017

Q&A: Political polls and the 2016 election

Courtney Kennedy of Pew Research Center, who chaired survey researchers organization AAPOR’s task force on political polling in the 2016 U.S. elections, discuss the group’s findings and recommendations.

MethodsMarch 31, 2017

Are Telephone Polls Understating Support for Trump?

An experiment comparing responses to 27 questions fielded on both a telephone and a web survey found no significant mode differences in overall opinion about Trump or many of his signature policy positions.