March 16, 2009

Obama’s Approval Rating Slips Amid Division Over Economic Proposals

About the Survey

Results for this survey are based on telephone interviews conducted under the direction of Princeton Survey Research Associates among a nationwide sample of 1,308 adults, 18 years of age or older, from March 9-12, 2009 (982 respondents were interviewed on a landline telephone, and 326 were interviewed on a cell phone, including 104 who had no landline telephone). Both the landline and cell phone samples were provided by Survey Sampling International. For detailed information about our survey methodology, see http://www.people-press.org/methodology/.

The combined landline and cell phone sample are weighted using an iterative technique that matches gender, age, education, race/ethnicity, region, and population density to parameters from the March 2007 Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey. The sample is also weighted to match current patterns of telephone status and relative usage of landline and cell phones (for those with both), based on extrapolations from the 2007 National Health Interview Survey. The weighting procedure also accounts for the fact that respondents with both landline and cell phones have a greater probability of being included in the sample.

The following table shows the error attributable to sampling that would be expected at the 95% level of confidence for different groups in the survey:

Group Sample Size Plus or minus…
Total sa
mple
1,308 3.0 percentage points
Form 1 640 4.5 percentage points
Form 2 668 4.5 percentage points
Republicans 359 6.0 percentage points
Democrats 444 5.5 percentage points
Independents 432 5.5 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.