Demystifying election polling: How survey data can give you insights

 

February 14, 2020

Demystifying election polling: How survey data can give you insights

 

February 14, 2020

 

Election year is upon us, and with it come a million questions & insights about how the United States, and by extension, the world will change. 

An election year is an excellent time to gather data from people about the issues that are closest to them, and can be an excellent source of insights about anything ranging from candidate prospects to the state of the economy. 

Before you decide on what polls you want to carry out, you need to be sure of how you want to carry them out as well. How you conduct your research (be it through in person questioning or polling survey software) can affect the quality of insights you get depending on your demographic. There’s a few options out there which can give exactly the insights you’re looking for –

 

Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI)

Modern polling survey platforms have greatly expanded CATI Surveys’ abilities to be able to handle an extremely large number of respondents and quickly upload their responses to the cloud for analysis.

Election polling, especially exit polls need a lot of fieldwork, and CATI surveys are exceptionally good at that, with the best platforms having the ability to monitor multiple interviewers remotely. Siena college successfully employed a CATI solution and conducted an incredible 3 million phone calls for almost a 100 live polls to accurately publish live poll results during the 2018 Midterm elections.

Online/Web Surveys

Web surveys are another reliable method of collecting data from diverse demographics in a short time-frame. A modern polling survey software can easily and quickly integrate the results generated by web surveys for analysis and generate reliable, intelligent insights.
Web surveys can be useful in reliably getting a wide range of opinions from a wide demographic.

So what kind of polls can one conduct?

Exit poll

Let’s start with a biggie – The Exit poll. It’s a monumental task to conduct an exit poll, and an even bigger challenge to get accurate results.

 Exit polls can be an incredible source of data when done accurately, and can help you understand demographics better. However, it’s resource intensive to prevent inaccuracies.

Opinion Poll

Opinion polls are usually constructed to find out the opinions of a certain demographic by asking a series of questions and then extrapolating generalities from responses.

Opinion polls using polling survey software are extremely quick to conduct and easy for people to respond to, which can allow researchers to reach a wider audience and generate a lot of data for them to play around with.

However, even though there is plenty of data to glean from, the accuracy of the insights you are able to get is completely dependent on the sample size of respondents used.

Feedback Poll

A feedback poll in elections is quite similar to its other use cases (retail, service sectors) – Usually conducted on behalf of candidates or political parties to gauge respondent feedback.

This feedback can be about individual policies, their overall performance and to get an idea about how a particular demographic views policies that are yet to be implemented and can allow candidates and parties to benchmark their performance.

However, it can be a small challenge to get respondents for feedback polls, especially for political ones as many people may not be inclined to give honest feedback due to privacy concerns.

Voxco is trusted by researchers across verticals in 30+ countries. If you want a robust Multichannel or CATI polling survey software to launch surveys at unparalleled scale, please click here.