Methodology

September 2017

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The 2017 VOTER Survey (Views of the Electorate Research Survey) was conducted in partnership the survey firm YouGov. In total, 5,000 adults (age 18+) with internet access took the survey online between July 13-24, 2017. 

These respondents were originally interviewed by YouGov in 2011-2012 as part of the 2012 Cooperative Campaign Analysis Project (CCAP). In that survey, 45,000 respondents were first interviewed in December 2011 and were interviewed a second time in one of the 45 weekly surveys between January 1 and November 8, 2012. After the November election, 35,408 respondents were interviewed a third time. 

In the December 2016 VOTER survey, 8,000 respondents from the 2012 CCAP were reinterviewed. YouGov also supplied measures of primary voting behavior from the end of the primary period (July 2016), when these respondents had been contacted as part of a different survey project. The 2017 VOTER Survey included reinterviews with 5,000 of these 8,000 respondents.

The 2012 CCAP was constructed using YouGov’s sample matching procedure. A stratified sample is drawn from YouGov’s panel, which consists of people who have agreed to take occasional surveys. The strata are defined by the combination of age, gender, race, and education, and each stratum is sampled in proportion to its size in the U.S. population. Then, each element of this sample is matched to a synthetic sampling frame that is constructed from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, the Current Population Survey Voting and Registration Supplement, and other databases. The matching procedure finds the observation in the sample from YouGov’s panel that most closely matches each observation in the synthetic sampling frame on a set of demographic characteristics. The resulting sample is then weighted by a set of demographic and non-demographic variables. 

On average, YouGov’s methodology produces less bias across a series of benchmarks than do other methodologies using online samples. For more information see:

The Democracy Fund Voter Study Group is using a unique longitudinal data set that most recently surveyed 5,000 adults (age 18+) in July 2017 via YouGov. Participants had previously participated in surveys in December 2011, November 2012, July 2016, and December 2016. These surveys include extensive measures of respondents’ political attitudes as well as self-reports of their turnout and vote choice in the 2012 presidential general election, 2016 presidential primaries, and 2016 presidential general election.

Please contact us at info@voterstudygroup.org, or subscribe for Voter Study Group email updates below.

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