A basic question when reading a poll: Does it include or exclude nonvoters?
Opinion polls in the U.S. can address the same topic yet reach very different results. There are several reasons this can happen, but we tackle one of the most basic: Did the poll include or exclude the 45% who didn’t vote in November?
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?
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.
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.
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 […]
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?