MethodsOctober 17, 2016

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?

MethodsSeptember 8, 2016

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.

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.

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 […]

MethodsMay 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?