The Purpose of Public Opinion Polls Public opinion

The Purpose of Public Opinion Polls

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What is a Public Opinion Poll?

The Purpose of Public Opinion Polls Public opinion

Public opinion is a term that refers to the general attitudes and opinions of a large population. In order to measure these attitudes and opinions, researchers use public opinion polls. 

Public opinion polls are surveys or inquiries that are designed to extract information on public opinion so that it can be measured and analysed. Traditionally, polls would be conducted as one-on-one interviewers where a trained interviewer would ask questions to a randomly chosen sample of the population. However, with the evolution of technology, traditional polling methods are used less and online surveys and polls are used more.

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What is the Purpose of Public Opinion Polls?

The Purpose of Public Opinion Polls Public opinion

Public opinion polls can be used in many different ways and therefore have many different purposes. Let’s take a look at the different purposes for which public opinion polls are used: 

  • Opinion Polls: Opinion polls are conducted by sampling a subgroup of the population. They are conducted with the purpose of understanding public attitudes toward an issue or predicting election results. 
  • Benchmark Polls: A benchmark poll is the first poll taken in a campaign, generally right before a candidate announces their bid for office. As the name suggests, the purpose of benchmark polls is to provide candidates with an idea of where they stand so that they can assess whether or not they should run for office. Additionally, it is even used to reflect the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses by revealing which voters they are likely to win and which they are likely to lose. 
  • Tracking Polls: Tracking polls are conducted by repeatedly surveying the same sample group. The purpose of tracking polls is to identify, measure, and track any changes in opinions, attitudes, and perceptions over time. 
The Purpose of Public Opinion Polls Public opinion
  • Brushfire Polls: Brushfire polls are the polls conducted during the period between the benchmark poll and tracking polls. They have a number of purposes; they show candidates whether or not they’ve made any progress on the ballot, the magnitude of progress that’s been made, which demographics they’ve been winning over, and which demographics they’ve been losing. 
  • Entrance Polls: Entrance polls are performed on election day before the voters place their vote. The purpose of these polls is to collect information on the voter’s voting locations. 
  • Exit Polls: Exit polls are performed on election day after voters have cast their vote and are exiting their voting location. These are generally conducted so that media outlets can determine the election results before they are announced. 
  • Focus Group: In focus groups, a small group of particpants that share certain characteristics are assembled for a group discussion. The main purpose of focus groups is to obtain in-depth information on participants’ attitudes, feelings, beliefs, reactions, and experiences in a way that would not be possible using other methods such as observation or on-one-interviewing, for instance. 
  • Mass Survey: Mass surveys are conducted by interviewing a large sample of the population. The purpose of mass surveys is to measure public opinion on a certain topic or issue. 

 

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FAQs on Public Opinion Polls

A public opinion poll can be defined as a survey or inquiry that is designed to extract information on public opinion so that it can be measured and analysed. 

There are many different kinds of public opinion polls, each with a distinct purpose. For example, benchmark polls are generally conducted by political campaigns to provide a base for comparison for later polls. Mass survey polls, on the other hand, are conducted to measure public opinion on a certain topic.

The primary purpose of using focus groups to collect data is to obtain in-depth information on participants’ attitudes, feelings, beliefs, reactions, and experiences. Focus groups collect the kind of data that cannot be easily obtained through other methods such as observation or one-on-one interviewing, for instance. 

There are many different types of polls including opinion polls, entrance polls, benchmark polls, tracking polls, exit polls, mass surveys, and focus groups.

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Fast Insights
Best-in-class ROI

Voxco’s platform helps you gather omnichannel feedback, measure sentiment, uncover insights and act on them.

Join 500 + global clients across 40+ countries