MethodsAugust 1, 2016

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.

MethodsAugust 1, 2016

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 […]

Fact TankJune 16, 2016

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 […]

Fact TankMay 11, 2016

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.

Fact TankMay 2, 2016

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?

MethodsJanuary 7, 2016

Can Likely Voter Models Be Improved?

High-profile polling failures in recent elections have drawn attention to the challenges in using surveys to predict outcomes. Our study examines various methods of determining who is a likely voter.

Fact TankJanuary 5, 2016

Pew Research Center will call 75% cellphones for surveys in 2016

We’re making this change to ensure our survey samples properly represent the now roughly half (47%) of U.S. adults who only have a cellphone.

Fact TankJuly 21, 2015

The challenges of polling when fewer people are available to be polled

With response rates low and heading lower, how can survey researchers have confidence in their findings? Scott Keeter, director of survey research at Pew Research Center, addresses this issue and related questions.

Pew Research CenterMay 13, 2015

From Telephone to the Web: The Challenge of Mode of Interview Effects in Public Opinion Polls

Among the most striking trends in the field of survey research in the past two decades is the shift from interviewer-administered to self-administered surveys. Fueled by the growth of the internet, self-administration as a survey mode presents a mixture of opportunities and challenges to the field.

Fact TankDecember 22, 2014

14 striking findings from 2014

In 2014, Pew Research Center published more than 150 reports and some 600 blog posts. Here are 14 facts we found particularly striking, as they illustrate some major shifts in our politics, society, habits or families.