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SurveyUSA Expanded Statement of Methodology

SurveyUSA is an independent, non-partisan, apolitical research company that conducts opinion surveys for media, academic institutions, commercial clients, governments and agencies. SurveyUSA opinion research is conducted multi-mode. Respondents who have a home (landline) telephone are interviewed by phone, typically using the recorded voice of a professional announcer. The youngest male is requested on approximately 60% of calls to home phones, the youngest adult is requested on approximately 40% of calls. This method of intra-household selection reduces the potential for age and gender imbalance in the unweighted sample. Re-attempts are made to busy signals, no-answers and answering machines. For surveys using random-digit-dial (RDD) to call landline phones, sample is purchased from SSI of Shelton CT. For surveys using voter-list (RBS) sample to call landline phones, sample is purchased from Aristotle of Washington DC. Respondents who do not use a home telephone are interviewed on an electronic device, which means, for some projects, that call-center employees hand-dial cell phones and interview respondents verbally on the respondent’s cell phone, and means, for other projects, that SurveyUSA displays the questions visually on the respondent’s phone, tablet, or other device. Sample for respondents who do not use a home telephone is purchased from SSI, from Aristotle, or from one of several other research companies that provide access to cell respondents. Where meaningful, SurveyUSA indicates the percentage of respondents who use a home phone and the percentage who do not, and crosstabs by this distinction. If sample of adults is drawn from SSI, responses are minimally weighted to U.S. Census targets for gender, age and race. If sample of voters is drawn from Aristotle, responses are minimally weighted to the known demographics of the voter file, which include gender and age but, typically, not race. Target (cell) weighting is used. On questionnaires that ask about political party identification, SurveyUSA does not typically weight to Party ID. Where necessary, questions and answer choices are rotated to prevent order bias, recency and latency effects. Each individual release contains the date(s) on which interviews are conducted and a release date. If interviewing for a particular study is conducted in Spanish, it will be noted on the specific release. If no notation appears, interviews are conducted in English. Where respondents are filtered, such as adults, filtered to registered voters, in turn filtered to likely voters, SurveyUSA describes the filtering on the specific release. On pre-election polls in geographies with early voting, SurveyUSA differentiates between respondents who have already voted and those who are likely to vote but have not yet done so. SurveyUSA assigns to each question within the instrument a theoretical margin of sampling error, but such error is useful only in theory. Though commonly cited in the presentation of research results, “sampling error” is only one of many types of error that may influence the outcome of an opinion research study. More practical concerns include the way in which questions are worded and ordered, the inability to contact some, the refusal of others to be interviewed, and the difficulty of translating each questionnaire into all possible languages and dialects. Non-sampling errors cannot be quantified. This statement conforms to the principals of disclosure as recommended by the National Council on Public Polls (NCPP). SurveyUSA endorses the Transparency Initiative of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR). Questions about SurveyUSA research can be addressed to editor@surveyusa.com.

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