Learn more about how surveys are developed and conducted by exploring the survey methodology topics below, reading reports about methodological issues, and browsing frequently asked questions. Behind every survey, several decisions are made about how to: select people to interview, conduct the survey, and ask the questions. All of these decisions impact the survey results.
Most of our national surveys are conducted by randomly dialing landline and cell phone numbers in the continental United States. Here is a detailed overview of the methods we use.
There are many different ways to select respondents to be surveyed. Here is a description of some of the methods we use to draw samples.
Researchers use a variety of methods to survey respondents. Here is a review of those methods, plus a discussion of declining response rates.
There are various ways to ask questions and arrange them in the survey. Here we discuss some of the pitfalls and best practices.
Pre-election polling allows pollsters to assess the accuracy of their work by comparing how well their polls matched election outcomes. One of the key challenges is identifying likely voters.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Why am I never called to be polled?
- Can I volunteer to be polled?
- Why don't your surveys ever reflect the opinions of people I know?
- Why should I participate in surveys?
- What good are polls?
- I'm on a "Do Not Call" list. Doesn't that prevent you from calling me?
- Do pollsters have a code of ethics? If so, what is in the code?
- How are political polls different from market research?
- More Frequently Asked Questions