Internet & Tech Apr. 21, 2008

How Different Are People Who Don’t Respond to Pollsters?

Survey research firms face increasingly high non-completion rates. Analysis based on extra efforts to reach non-responders finds few differences between the responses of the easy- and hard-to-reach.

U.S. Politics Jan. 31, 2008

The Impact of “Cell-Onlys” on Public Opinion Polls

A new Pew study finds that on key political measures such as presidential approval, Iraq policy, presidential primary voter preference and party affiliation, respondents reached on cell phones hold attitudes very similar to those reached on landline telephones.

U.S. Politics Jan. 10, 2008

Getting It Wrong

Several factors deserve exploration, but one should not ignore the possibility of the longstanding pattern of pre-election polls overstating support for black candidates among white voters, particularly white voters who are poor.

U.S. Politics Dec. 14, 2007

Primary Problems: How Exit Pollsters Plan to Cope with a Super-Crowded Election Season

From holiday distractions to winter weather, the people who will be measuring voters’ preferences in primaries and caucuses around the nation will be dealing with unprecedented problems. Here’s how they plan to do it.

Internet & Tech Nov. 14, 2007

Why We Don’t Know Enough About Broadband in the U.S.

Many key questions about the information society require fine-grained, publicly available data about broadband deployment and use at the local level — but government agencies need more help in gathering it.

U.S. Politics Jul. 2, 2007

“Frequently Asked Questions” about Pew’s Muslim American Survey

A recent report, “Muslim Americans: Middle Class and Mostly Mainstream,” attracted a great deal of attention but also raised a number of questions about the research. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.

U.S. Politics Jun. 19, 2007

What’s Missing from National RDD Surveys? The Impact of the Growing Cell-Only Population

The number of cell-phone-only households has continued to grow — 12.8% of all households by the end of 2006, according to the National Health Interview Survey. While the noncoverage problem is currently not damaging estimates for the entire population, a study finds evidence that it does create biased estimates on certain variables for young adults, 25% of whom are cell-only.

U.S. Politics Jun. 19, 2007

How Serious Is Polling’s Cell-Only Problem?

The landline-less are different from regular telephone users in many of their opinions and their numbers are growing fast. Can survey researchers meet this challenge?

U.S. Politics Feb. 14, 2007

How Reliable Are the Early Presidential Polls?

As the number of declared presidential candidates grows, followers of early poll readings should bear in mind some caveats. Early frontrunners for the Republican nomination in most of the past seven open contests have gone on to win the nomination, but this year there are two GOP frontrunners instead of one clear leader. On the Democratic side, even when there is a clear frontrunner as there is this year with Sen. Hillary Clinton, the early polls have been less reliable in predicting who will capture the nomination.

Global Oct. 26, 2006

Are National Polls Reliable Predictors of Midterm Elections?

National elections are the high season for pollsters and with Election Day now less than two weeks away, new polls on the fight for Congress are being released nearly every day. Commonly, pollsters use something called the “generic ballot” to assess the state of the congressional race. Just how accurate is the “generic ballot” in predicting election results?