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?
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.
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.
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.
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.