Pew Research Center’s survey methodologists manage the Center’s American Trends Panel and provide guidance for all of the Center’s domestic public opinion research to ensure it meets the highest standards. We search for ways to expand and strengthen the Center’s survey practices, explore alternative methods of measuring public opinion and conduct experimental research with the goal of improving survey quality.
Major reports have examined the state of U.S. polling, data quality of online surveys, the use of voter files in public opinion research and the consequences of low response rates in polls. The Methods team also tries to act as a leader in the wider polling industry, and educates the public and journalists about polling best practices through our Methods 101 video series, our #MethodsMondays series on Instagram and our behind-the-data blog, Decoded. We are proud that the Center is a charter member of the American Association for Public Opinion Research’s Transparency Initiative.
Given the errors in 2016 and 2020 election polling, how much should we trust polls that attempt to measure opinions on issues?
Our analysis of verified voters examines what 2016 voters and nonvoters did in the 2018 midterm elections and offers a detailed portrait of the demographic composition and vote choices of the 2018 electorate.
If a battleground state poll does not adjust for having too many college graduates, it is at risk of overstating support for a Democratic presidential candidate. The Current Population Survey provides high-quality data that can mitigate overrepresentation of college graduates.
While the growth of online interviewing is a prominent trend in polling, there is variation within that trend in how researchers recruit respondents. This study finds that sourcing affects data quality.