As internet use grows– whether through a traditional computer, tablet, gaming device or cell phone – new techniques are being developed to conduct social research and measure people’s behavior and opinion while they are online.
Pollsters sometimes match a “generic” Republican or Democratic candidate against an incumbent, or use a generic ballot to forecast which party is ahead in congressional elections. How to read these polls.
In every campaign cycle, pollwatchers pay close attention to the details of every election survey. And well they should. But focusing on the partisan balance of surveys is, in almost every circumstance, the wrong place to look.
James Bell, Director of International Survey Research for the Pew Research Center, explains the methodology used by the Pew Research Center's Global Attitudes Project to assure the quality and accuracy of surveys conducted abroad.
Scott Keeter, Director of Survey Research for the Pew Research Center and president of the American Association for Public Opinion Research, explores the threats and opportunities in the field of survey research, and discusses steps that can be taken to help keep survey research relevant for democracy.