4 Cutting-Edge Ways To Conduct Political Polls And Surveys

By Tony K, CallHub.io

If the 2016 presidential election polling taught us all anything, it was the need for precise polling and survey methods. Poll after poll concluded that Donald J. Trump had no pathway to victory based on wildly inaccurate numbers. That leaves many political campaigners uncertain about how to move forward and provide their candidates with accurate assessments about how voters lean on salient issues. These are 5 methods used to produce improved election polls and surveys.

Peer To Peer Texting

Peer to peer texting offers pollsters a way to connect with otherwise hidden voters. While telephone polls were once the norm, the widespread use of caller ID, no-call lists and restrictions on calling cell phones made it increasingly difficult to connect with valuable segments of the voter base. Peer to peer texting complies with FCC regulations since a polling volunteer is personally hitting the send button for each text. Surveys within the software allow volunteers to take down responses right on their chat screen with software integrations ensure that the data is instantly updated to a voter database.

Political Robocalls Can Be Impartial

One of the benefits of setting up a political survey via robocall, or robopoll if you will, is that the information is gathered by an automated voice broadcast system. Many major polling outlets utilize robopolls to publish national opinion data about candidates and policy trends. That’s because these automated surveys do not inject the passions of campaign volunteers into the mix. The are very similar to the voice broadcasting used by businesses to connect with consumers. Besides being impartial, these are some of the other benefits to utilizing robopolls.

  • Faster and easier to complete than traditional surveys.
  • Provide excellent cost-savings benefits.
  • Particularly effective in small, target markets and voting districts.
  • Regional or local dialect and inflection can be included in recording.
  • Does not rely on human labor.

Virtual Phone Banking Streamlines A Personal Connection

The days of volunteers sitting around tables and making calls have evolved considerably due to new technologies. Virtual phone banking has replaced the labor-intensive methods of going down a list and manually dialing community members. Advances in automated and manual dialing allows political campaigns to connect to supporters over phone more efficiently and take down poll responses right on their calling screens. Integrations allow for all polling data to be instantly send to voter databases. Phone conversations also helps pollsters get the input of older generations who who tend to use landlines and are more accustomed to real-life conversations with campaign volunteers.

Online polls are easier

Online polls offer a fast and cheap alternative to phone and text polling. After preparing the poll using online tools such as Opavote, pollsters then email or text the links to the poll to voters. A drawback with online polls is that the sample selection can be skewed because online polls generally work on opt in from voters and certain sections of voters will be more inclined to fill up the poll. There’s also the task of assigning weightage to voters without an internet connection.

These are the best methods methods currently available to pollsters. While it’s possible to find politically passionate individuals to donate their time for managing election polls, running an effective poll requires experienced outfits that understand the intricacies of polling.

Unless you have an experienced pollster working on your campaign, it makes a great deal of sense to outsource your polling requirements to impartial companies with experience in the niche. That real-time intelligence into the voter psyche can lay your foundation for the victory speech on election night.

CallHub is a non-partisan political calling and texting tool used for campaigns, both big and small. It integrates with your voter DB and helps reduce your voter contact costs by 50%.


Incorporating Online Opinion Surveys

Incorporating Online Opinion Surveys
& Polling Into Campaign Mix
by Nancy Guthrie, Capitol City Communications

Email addresses are almost as prevalent these days as residential addresses. But so far in political and issue campaigns, online email surveys and polling are largely untapped. Measuring the court of public opinion through online email surveys and polls is affordable, fast, easy and effective. It is an immediate way to take the pulse of the public and gather intelligence that can be used to develop a winning campaign strategy.

Campaigns can use online surveys and polling to build relationships with voters, which can instantly translate into useful campaign tactics. One of the classic case studies of campaigns ignoring public opinion occurred in West Virginia's third Congressional District during the mid-term elections last year. Had the use of email surveys and polling been considered at the outset both candidates would have clearly understood that voters disapproved of their combined campaign strategies - which amounted to over saturating the district with traditional campaign methods.

This disregard resulted in voters being assaulted daily by phone banks that included a combination of pre-recorded get out the vote messages, push polls, telephone endorsements by various groups and organizations, direct mail, radio ads and an obscene and relentless schedule of television advertisements. Armed with immediate intelligence discovered through use of email surveys and polls both candidates might have been persuaded to modify their campaign approach with techniques registering voter approval.

The great thing about email surveys and polls is that over 20 questions can be sent to a targeted group of registered voters via email distribution lists. Generally, questions are phrased in such a way that respondents can tell that their answers will be factored into any campaign strategy. Respondents who answer by deadline can be entered into any drawing that has value to the registered voter.

A Web-based version of the survey or poll is created and distribution is managed. Within the email survey or poll, a link is offered to a Web-based version. Through this alternative method, respondents with the ability to only read text messages are able to fill out the survey or poll via their browser.

Unlike typical response rates of 10-15 percent, email surveys and polls are experiencing response rates between 40-50 percent. The email results are collected over one week compared to the month or longer it takes to collect mail surveys. And case studies suggest that the majority of email surveys and polls are completed and returned within the first 72 hours. Results can be viewed in real time via an online tracking report, and a summary analysis of survey results can be turned over within a day.

Total cost for email based surveys and polls is generally around $1,800, including $1,200 for the survey and poll design and $550 a month for a three-month subscription to email marketing services. Executing a survey through traditional mail generally costs between $3,000-$5,000, and that doesn't take into consideration usually low response rates for paper surveys. When you apply a cost-per response metric, the email based surveys and poll responses cost about $5 each, while traditional mail responses (assuming a 10 percent response rate) cost about $40-$50 per response if you use a population of 800-plus people as your email base.

As this generation of voters comes into its own, campaigns need to think of the next best ways to take pulse of the public. Online email surveys and polls may very well be one of the next best things to hit at the heart of the American people in upcoming campaigns.