5 key things to know about the margin of error in election polls
Some of the better-known statistical rules of thumb that a smart consumer might think apply in polls are more nuanced than they seem. In other words, as is so often the case in life, it’s complicated.
Text Message Notification for Web Surveys
By Kyley McGeeney and H. Yanna Yan Text messaging has grown in popularity in recent years, leading survey researchers to explore ways texts might be used as tools in the public opinion research process. In the U.S., at least, researchers must obtain consent from respondents before they are permitted to send an automated text. This […]
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 […]
Partisanship and Political Animosity in 2016
The 2016 campaign is unfolding against a backdrop of intense partisan division and animosity. Partisans’ views of the opposing party are now more negative than at any point in nearly a quarter of a century.
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 translating the U.S. census questionnaire into Arabic
In 2020, census questionnaires may for the first time be offered in Arabic, now the fastest-growing language in the U.S. But the Census Bureau faces a challenge not only in translating the language but also in adjusting the appearance of the questionnaire for those accustomed to reading and writing Arabic script.
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?
Many Americans say they voted, but did they?
One-in-six (16%) of those who say they “definitely voted” in the 2014 midterm election have no record of voting in commercially available national voter files.