September 20, 2000

Religion and Politics: the Ambivalent Majority

Methodology

Results for the Campaign 2000 Typology Survey are based on telephone interviews conducted under the direction of Princeton Survey Research Associates among a nationwide sample of 2,799 adults (1,999 registered voters), 18 years of age or older, during the period August 24 ­ September 10, 2000. For results based on the total sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the error attributable to sampling and other random effects is plus or minus 2 percentage points. For results based on registered voters, the sampling error is plus or minus 2.5 percentage points. For results based on likely voters (N=1495), the sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points. For results based on either Form 1 (N=1025) or Form 2 (N=974) registered voters, the sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

In addition to sampling error, one should bear in mind that question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of opinion polls.

About the Typology

The 10-group political typology was developed by the Pew Research Center to classify people on the basis of their political value orientations, partisanship, and political activism. The typology groups presented in this report are a replication of the first typology created for this electoral season, in the fall of 1999. That typology was developed through a two-step statistical procedure involving factor analysis and cluster analysis. This procedure is described in more detail in the November 1999 report.1

The current typology is an approximation of the earlier classification, using the same eight value scales to predict in which typology group a respondent belongs. To increase the efficiency of the procedure, some items that were only moderately associated with a value scale were omitted from the analysis. This procedure has been shown to be a close approximation of the full cluster analysis procedure, predicting the same typology group for respondents in fully 84% of all cases.

  1. "Retropolitics: The Political Typology, Version 3.0," November 1999.