January 8, 2015

The Politics of Financial Insecurity

A Democratic Tilt, Undercut by Low Participation

Appendix C: Likely Voter Scale

Likely voter estimates are based on a 7-item turnout scale that includes the following questions: thought (thought given to the election), precinct (ever voted in your precinct or election district), Q.6 (follow government and public affairs), oftvote (how often vote), pgeneral (likelihood of voting), pvote12a (voted in the 2012 presidential election) and scale10 (chances of voting on 1-10 scale). The items are combined to form a seven-point index. The turnout estimate used in identifying likely voters is 40%, which is the approximate average turnout rate over the past few midterm elections (the actual turnout rate for the 2014 election was 36%). Thus, respondents who score in the top 40% of the distribution are considered to be likely voters. That includes all respondents who received a score of 7 plus a percentage of those who received a score of 6. More details about the Pew Research Center’s methodology for estimating likelihood to vote are available at http://assets.pewresearch.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2011/01/UnderstandingLikelyVoters.pdf.