Pew Research Center uses benchmarking questions to ensure our surveys are accurate. Learn why and how we use these questions.
On election night 2018, besides the exit polls there will be an additional source of data on who voted and why, developed by The Associated Press, Fox News and NORC at the University of Chicago and based on a very different methodology. That means that depending on where you go for election news, you may get a somewhat different portrait of this year's electorate.
Given the wide range of people we speak to for our polls – and the issues we ask them about – it’s important to be as clear as possible about exactly who says what. In research circles, this practice is sometimes called “defining the universe."
For many people, “majority” is a word so common that they rarely have to think twice about what it means. But it’s a different matter for polling organizations like Pew Research Center. At the Center, writers cannot label a survey finding a “majority” unless it meets specific criteria.
Donald Trump's victory in 2016 and the U.K. "Brexit" decision rattled public confidence in polls. Our new video explains why well-designed polls can be trusted.
In the second video from our Methods 101 series, we’re tackling why question wording is so important in public opinion surveys.