Who is SurveyUSA?

SurveyUSA is an independent, non-partisan, full-service opinion research firm that conducts scientific research for media, government, and private-sector clients. By many measures, SurveyUSA is the nation’s largest public opinion polling firm. As of 2002, 19 of the nation’s then 25 largest media companies had contracted with SurveyUSA to conduct opinion research.

Map of All SUSA Clients

  • SurveyUSA specializes in local and hyper-local opinion research. No research company has polled in more diverse or more challenging USA geographies.
    • Each of the 50 states.
    • Many Congressional Districts.
    • Counties.
    • Cities.
    • TV “Viewing Areas,” otherwise known as DMAs.
    • Zip Codes.
  • SurveyUSA’s breaking-news polls appear on TV stations around the country and in major newspapers.
  • SurveyUSA conducts market research for governments, government agencies, trade associations, and private industry.
  • SurveyUSA has completed 24,000 research projects and interviewed 36 million Americans.
  • No other public opinion pollster has the breadth and depth of SurveyUSA.
  • SurveyUSA was founded 9/15/90 by Jay H. Leve.
    • Leve remains in charge of the day-to-day operations of the company.
      • Leve is a former newspaper reporter and editor at the Miami Herald. He worked 7 years at Knight-Ridder, the company that owned the Miami Herald. Leve has a MSJ and a BSJ, with highest distinction, from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.
    • SurveyUSA is privately held.
    • Interested investors may contact investors@surveyusa.com .
  • The company wrote its own proprietary software to improve the way interviews were conducted.
  • Media clients typically sign long-term exclusive contracts with SurveyUSA to prevent their competitors from using the service in the same marketplace.


SurveyUSA wrote software from 1990 to 1992 to make it possible for local TV news stations and others to order true random-sample research, of any geography, on a topic of local, national or international interest, at a moment’s notice, and, when methodologically appropriate, get back results the same day, in time for that night’s news deadline.

Prior to SurveyUSA, opinion research was slow and expensive, and only TV networks and the largest newspapers could afford to undertake them. SurveyUSA reduced the turnaround time and cost by an order of magnitude, without a sacrifice in quality. Not every research project can or should be completed in one day; many research projects require a longer field period. But: when news breaks, and media need to get projectable, scientific reaction, they turn to SurveyUSA. Only SurveyUSA specializes in fast-turn breaking-news polls.

Some SurveyUSA clients qualify for an “unlimited” contract, in which clients may conduct an “unlimited” number of research studies for one pre-set price. Unheard of when introduced in 1996, and still not offered today by another firm of any size, SurveyUSA unlimited research gives decision makers a way to get answers to critical questions without negotiating price or awaiting corporate approval project-by-project.

SurveyUSA clients can ask any type of quantitative (multiple-choice, closed end) question and qualitative (unstructured, open-end) question. Responses to quantitative questions are tabulated and graphed. Responses to qualitative questions are captured “verbatim” from the respondent and presented to the client in .wav audio file format.

SurveyUSA researchers will always recommend the appropriate field period for a given piece of research. Some surveys, on fast-changing news stories, are ordered and completed same-day. Other projects have a data-collection period that extends over several weeks. And there is every variation in between.

SurveyUSA pre-election polls are typically conducted over 3 consecutive nights, sometimes 4.

SurveyUSA tracking polls are typically taken at evenly spaced intervals.


SurveyUSA always attempts to have the most complete “disclosure” of any public opinion pollster. Disclosure means that a person studying SurveyUSA poll results can tell with great clarity exactly what the pollster did, and would be able to re-create the research on his/her own, if he/she so desired.

SurveyUSA is one of few research companies that routinely publishes the results of all “cross-tabs,” so analysts can see how certain demographic sub-populations answered the questions. SurveyUSA also routinely provides the composition of the respondent population, so analysts can double-check to see if the survey accurately reflects the geography being surveyed.

Since 1992, SurveyUSA has delivered more poll results, more professionally displayed, than other research firms.

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