Polling

Poynter Results

  • Tips/Training

    Article

    Pros (and cons) of open-ended or closed poll questions

    Every poll involves a questionnaire that contains a standardized set of questions that are asked of every person. The way a question is asked can affect the answers that people give.

    In an open-ended question, people answer in their own terms. In a closed-ended format, people choose from a given list of answers. (The vast majority of polling questions are closed-ended.)

    One example is the “most important problem” question. This is asked most commonly in the open-ended form used by the Gallup organization: What is the most important problem facing the country today?

  • Tips/Training

    Article

    2 ways to tell stories with polls

    Writing about polls or survey results is similar to writing about any news story: It requires attention to the same principles of journalism, such as always reporting with precision and without bias, as well as providing context and looking for the deeper story.

    Dig Deep — Look at Sub-Groups and Follow-Up Questions

  • Tips/Training

    Article

    In covering election polls, watch these 3 terms

    Determining which candidate is "ahead" is the most visible and potentially dangerous element to report in any election polls. Public opinion can change quickly and dramatically.

    Here are some areas where journalists should focus their attention when reporting on polls that compare voting intention:

  • Tips/Training

    Article

    5 guidelines for writing about poll numbers

    Reporting on polls or survey results is similar to reporting on any other news story: It requires attention to the same principles of journalism, such as always reporting with precision and without bias. In addition, journalists need to make the results understandable and intelligible for an audience that may have little statistical training.

    Here are some do's and don'ts for writing about poll numbers.

  • Tips/Training

    Article

    5 questions to ask about automated polls

    Automated (or Interactive Voice Response) Polls have received mixed reviews in the polling community. Many remain skeptical of the capability of these polls to produce reliable results. But some believe their track record suggests that the technique can be valid.

    Some essential questions to ask about IVR polls include:

  • Tips/Training

    Article

    How to identify a "push poll"

    It happens  every election cycle. You’ll get a call that sounds like a political poll but is really a campaign tactic. Some calls are “push polls,” political telemarketing that attempts to create negative views of candidates or issues. Others are legitimate message-testing surveys, used by campaigns to see which types of messages will be most successful.

    Here’s how you can tell the difference.

    Push polls

 
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