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Methodology

Established in 1988, the Quinnipiac University Poll is a nationally and internationally recognized polling organization that adheres to rigorous methodological practices.

The Gold Standard

The Quinnipiac University Poll uses what has long been considered the gold standard methodology in polling: random digit dialing using live interviewers, calling both landlines and cell phones. This methodology has been the key to our accuracy over our many years of polling.

American Association for Public Opinion Research logoBeing transparent about methodology is an important best practice. The Quinnipiac University Poll is a charter member of AAPOR’s Transparency Initiative. To learn more about AAPOR (American Association for Public Opinion Research), its Transparency Initiative, or polling methodology in general, you can visit AAPOR's website.

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  • Survey results regularly consist of over 1,000 respondents, allowing important subgroups to be examined and to minimize the sampling margin of error.

  • Random digit dialing is the best way to ensure that everyone has an equal chance of being selected for our poll.

  • In an era of 24/7 news, the political landscape is constantly shifting. Our team stays on top of the news and asks timely questions to measure public opinion on the latest issues and events.

Our Methodology

Our polls are based on a random sample of adults, 18 years of age and older. A random sample is one in which everyone in the population has an equal chance of being selected. Sample sizes regularly consist of over 1,000 respondents.

Some poll results are based on registered voters (self-identified), rather than all adults, because of a focus on politics and elections. As we get closer to an election, we report the results based on likely voters.

Screener questions are used to determine likely voters. Different screener questions may be used depending on the type of election (i.e. primary vs. general election, presidential vs. mid-term election, etc.). This can include, but not limited to, questions measuring intention to vote, attention to the campaign, past voting behavior, and interest in politics to identify who is likely to vote.

All adults, regardless of voter registration status, are interviewed because we utilize recent Census data of the 18-year-old and over population for weighting purposes. Weighting is a statistical adjustment of the data. Gender, age, education, race, and region are the demographics that are weighted to reflect Census information. This process permits not only obtaining full coverage of the target population, but also ensures that subsets within the population are accurately represented within our results.

Sampling is based on random digit dialing (RDD) with phone numbers being randomly generated, not limited to any listed directory. RDD is used to ensure that both listed and unlisted phone numbers have a chance of being included in the sample. We purchase our samples from Dynata.

Typically, the field period for interviewing is four to seven days. We call from 6 to 9 p.m. respondent time, Monday through Friday with additional hours on Saturday and Sunday.

If there is no answer, we will "call back" that number. We will call every number where there is no answer at least four times. We do call cell phones. This is increasingly important as more than half of the nation only have a cell phone and no landline telephone.

Interviews can be conducted in Spanish if a respondent prefers to be interviewed in Spanish.

Only live callers, not prerecorded voices, are used to conduct Quinnipiac University polls. Our interviewer staff is a mix of students and non-students who are professionally trained and closely monitored.

We have 200 Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI) stations with interviewers manually dialing all telephone numbers. Our CATI software is powered by the Survox platform from Enghouse Interactive.

  • Find the answers to commonly asked questions about our polls and survey results.

  • A detailed look into how regional areas are defined when reported in cross-tabulations.