Best Practices from Leading Research and Polling Firms

Nielsen, a leading global research firm for media, advertising, retail and the consumer goods industries is using old fashion robocalls to increase response rates and save money. Nielsen is best known now to political practitioners for measuring viewership among different network shows. The company is now using robocalls to follow up mail surveys of TV viewers after their program showed a 1% increase in response rates by those receiving mailers from the company.

Global Strategies Group, among the best polling firms in the U.S., presented on the use of “exact ballot language” vs. “plain English versions of ballot language” and found that when there is lots of legalese in the exact language of the ballot measure, more voters default to “undecided” and actual support for the ballot measure is understated in a telephone poll. GSG cautions against too much poetic license with the “plain English version” that would oversimplify the substance of the proposed ballot measure.

Emerson Polling presented a study that suggests the 2016 fascination with online polling cooled somewhat in 2018. During the midterms, online polling was about one quarter of the polling traffic, compared to almost 60% in the recent presidential year. Mixed modal surveys—which include some combination of online, live operators and IVR, continue to grow in popularity—from only 6% of the total number of surveys in 2012 to almost 30% last year.

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