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STATEMENT OF METHODOLOGY FOR HEAD-TO-HEAD 2008 PRESIDENTIAL PAIRINGS

SurveyUSA regularly conducts separate but concurrent statewide public opinion polls in each of the 50 states. Results from these 50 State Tracking Polls are released on SurveyUSA’s website.

Each time SurveyUSA conducts 50 separate but concurrent statewide public opinion polls, at least 30,000 Americans are interviewed, typically over 3 consecutive days, sometimes 4. At least 600 adults age 18+ are interviewed from each state. SurveyUSA asks if the respondent is registered to vote. Approximately 80%, or 500 of the 600 adults in each state, tell SurveyUSA they are registered to vote. 

In June 2006, SurveyUSA began adding to its concurrent statewide opinion polls a series of questions that began:

"If there were an election for President of the United States today, and the only two candidates on the ballot were [Republican candidate] and [Democrat candidate], who would you vote for?"

SurveyUSA systematically worked through the most obvious candidates for president. We polled as many probable pairings each month as we were able.

As of 11/13/06, we have completed 60 probable Head-to-Head Pairings. These are the Head-to-Head Pairings that SurveyUSA makes available. For each pairing, there are 51 possible outcomes: one for each of the 50 states and 1 for the District of Columbia. 60 possible pairings x 51 geographies for each pairing equals more than 3,000 separate poll outcomes. More than 200,000 interviews have been completed.

SurveyUSA polls are conducted by telephone. In 48 states, respondents who answer the phone hear an introduction in the digitally mastered voice of a TV news anchor. In Montana and North Dakota, respondent cooperation is first secured by a headset operator. In all states, respondents hear questions asked by a professional announcer. Respondents hear questions asked identically. Respondent households are selected at random, using Random Digit Dialed (RDD) sample provided by Survey Sampling, of Fairfield CT, unless otherwise indicated on an individual poll report. Within the report, you will find: the geography that was surveyed and the date(s) interviews were conducted. The number of respondents who answered each question and the margin of sampling error for each question are provided. For each state, the entire adult respondent population is weighted, where needed, according to age, gender, ethnic origin and geographical region, so that the sample should reflect the actual demographic proportions in the population, using most recent U.S. Census estimates. For the 2008 Presidential Pairings, unregistered voters are then excluded, and the results from registered voters are reported. In theory, with the stated sample size, one can say with 95% certainty that the results would not vary by more than the stated margin of sampling error, in one direction or the other, had the entire universe of respondents been interviewed with complete accuracy. There are other possible sources of error in all surveys that may be more serious than theoretical calculations of sampling error. These include refusals to be interviewed, question wording and question order. It is difficult to quantify the errors that may result from these factors. Fieldwork for surveys in Montana and North Dakota was done by Western Wats, of Orem, UT. Fieldwork for all other states was done by SurveyUSA of Verona, NJ.

Compliance

This statement conforms to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

Definitions

For those survey results which include data crosstabbed by "generation" the definitions are:  

 Generation
Birth Years
 Gen Y  1979 to present
 Gen X  1966 to 1978
 Jones  1954 to 1965
 Boomers  1942 to 1953
 Mature   1941 and before

For those survey results which include a "Region" crosstab, the regions are defined here.

Head-to-Head Pairings

The 60 available pairings appear below in a list, alphabetized by the candidate’s last name. To make it easier to find a candidate, each Head-to-Head pairing appears twice. For example, the Head-to-Head pairing for Clinton vs Giuliani appears alphabetized both in the Cs and in the Gs. For this reason, there are 120 rows below, mapped to 60 total pairings.

1 Allen vs Clinton
2 Allen vs Gore
3 Bayh vs McCain
4 Bayh vs Giuliani
5 Biden vs McCain
6 Biden vs Giuliani
7 Brownback vs Clinton
8 Brownback vs Gore
9 Brownback vs Edwards
10 Bush vs Gore
11 Clark vs McCain
12 Clark vs Giuliani
13 Clinton vs McCain
14 Clinton vs Giuliani
15 Clinton vs Romney
16 Clinton vs Gingrich
17 Clinton vs Rice
18 Clinton vs Frist
19 Clinton vs Brownback
20 Clinton vs Huckabee
21 Clinton vs Allen
22 Clinton vs Tancredo
23 Clinton vs Hagel
24 Edwards vs McCain
25 Edwards vs Giuliani
26 Edwards vs Romney
27 Edwards vs Gingrich
28 Edwards vs Rice
29 Edwards vs Frist
30 Edwards vs Brownback
31 Edwards vs Huckabee
32 Feingold vs McCain
33 Feingold vs Giuliani
34 Feingold vs Romney
35 Feingold vs Gingrich
36 Feingold vs Rice
37 Frist vs Clinton
38 Frist vs Gore
39 Frist vs Edwards
40 Gingrich vs Clinton
41 Gingrich vs Gore
42 Gingrich vs Edwards
43 Gingrich vs Feingold
44 Gingrich vs Warner
45 Giuliani vs Clinton
46 Giuliani vs Gore
47 Giuliani vs Edwards
48 Giuliani vs Feingold
49 Giuliani vs Warner
50 Giuliani vs Kerry
51 Giuliani vs Clark
52 Giuliani vs Obama
53 Giuliani vs Richardson
54 Giuliani vs Bayh
55 Giuliani vs Vilsack
56 Giuliani vs Biden
57 Giuliani vs Sharpton
58 Gore vs McCain
59 Gore vs Giuliani
60 Gore vs Romney
61 Gore vs Gingrich
62 Gore vs Rice
63 Gore vs Frist
64 Gore vs Brownback
65 Gore vs Hagel
66 Gore vs Huckabee
67 Gore vs Allen
68 Gore vs Bush
69 Gore vs Tancredo
70 Hagel vs Clinton
71 Hagel vs Gore
72 Huckabee vs Clinton
73 Huckabee vs Gore
74 Huckabee vs Edwards
75 Kerry vs McCain
76 Kerry vs Giuliani
77 Kerry vs Romney
78 McCain vs Clinton
79 McCain vs Gore
80 McCain vs Edwards
81 McCain vs Feingold
82 McCain vs Warner
83 McCain vs Kerry
84 McCain vs Clark
85 McCain vs Obama
86 McCain vs Richardson
87 McCain vs Bayh
88 McCain vs Vilsack
89 McCain vs Biden
90 Obama vs McCain
91 Obama vs Giuliani
92 Obama vs Rice
93 Reagan vs FDR
94 Rice vs Clinton
95 Rice vs Gore
96 Rice vs Edwards
97 Rice vs Feingold
98 Rice vs Warner
99 Rice vs Obama
100 Rice vs Sharpton
101 Richardson vs McCain
102 Richardson vs Giuliani
103 Romney vs Clinton
104 Romney vs Gore
105 Romney vs Edwards
106 Romney vs Feingold
107 Romney vs Warner
108 Romney vs Kerry
109 FDR vs Reagan
110 Sharpton vs Giuliani
111 Sharpton vs Rice
112 Tancredo vs Clinton
113 Tancredo vs Gore
114 Vilsack vs McCain
115 Vilsack vs Giuliani
116 Warner vs McCain
117 Warner vs Giuliani
118 Warner vs Romney
119 Warner vs Gingrich
120 Warner vs Rice

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