Political Research Surveys
ASSESS POLITICAL OPINION AND INTENTIONS
A vote in the ballot box cannot be obtained without an understanding of the voter who is casting it. NBRI’s Political Research Surveys empower both elected officials and candidates by giving them a window into the hearts and minds of potential voters, allowing them to fully understand their constituents. A well-designed survey can help gather information about voter intentions and opinions, meaning a candidate will be better positioned to understand how to craft their policies and platforms to meet the constituent needs. This allows them to gauge both the political landscape and the viability of their candidacy.
NBRI surveys provide civic leaders with the hard data they need to guide specific, targeted action. Through the use of appropriate sampling techniques, those interested in holding political office can access data that accurately represents the beliefs and opinions of a target population. Information gathered in the political poll can be used in a variety of ways, including:
- Decision making. Political research surveys are the only way politicians can ensure their decisions are aligned with the wants and needs of their constituents. By surveying, one can ensure the voice of the voter is heard above the din of special interests groups and advisers. Relying on scientifically gathered data gives elected officials the confidence they need to ensure their decisions are fair and representative of the people they govern. For elected officials, making popular decisions that align with constituents’ best interests is a way to guarantee successful outcomes during subsequent elections.
- Policy formation. A political survey takes the pulse of the populace and helps organizations develop fair and just policies or even gauge reception to a particular stance. The information gathered here can help a candidate develop an appropriate platform, one that matches constituent needs and ensures a variety of interests are adequately represented. In this way, a candidate can rest assured their political positioning will bring the greatest good to the greatest number of people.
- Law making. Political research can help a candidate understand the level of support for a specific policy, and prevent endorsement of bills that are not representative of constituents. In addition, a survey can help identify areas where additional laws and regulations are needed. This may help candidates establish themselves as unique players in the field by proposing legislative reforms to address critical issues that may have been previously overlooked.
- Public intent to support. A political survey can capture the magnitude of public support and track changes over time in public opinion. Recurrent surveys can be invaluable for politicians wanting to remain abreast of changes in public opinion. As a result, these leaders will be better positioned to respond to changing perspectives on hot political issues.
- Identifying concentrations of political supporters. A survey can also be used to give candidates a better understanding of the geographic dispersion of their supporters. This information can be used to schedule appearances, organize fundraisers, and ensure one’s candidacy is announced in a geographic area that is most conducive to creating “buzz” or excitement about the candidacy.
- Identifying the strengths and weaknesses of opponents. To defeat your opponents, you must first understand them. A political survey is a way to thoroughly understand the strengths and weaknesses of competitors. By understanding the areas in which your opponents excel, you can avoid any direct confrontations that would play to their advantage. Furthermore, you can identify which strengths should be emphasized relative to your competitors. Ultimately, this can give you a strategic advantage by contrasting the areas in which you excel to the areas in which your opponent is weak.
- Refining communications for marketing a candidate’s personal attributes, beliefs, policies, and political vision. A better awareness of the characteristics of constituents positions allows a candidate to understand how to emphasize their own strengths. This type of information in invaluable when developing a candidate’s image or understanding what characteristics to emphasize during a campaign. Furthermore, political research can help identify or redress any misconceptions constituents may have about a candidate and give that candidate an understanding of which attributes should be emphasized during advertising campaigns.
By gaining access to voter opinions and attitudes, political research helps ensure a transparent and open democratic process. Surveys conducted in a scientific and methodological manner produce accurate data capable of predicting electoral outcomes across all levels of government, from local to federal elections. In addition, these types of surveys accurately predict and project trends in opinions across a variety of demographic groups.
Political research surveys also have utility at the corporate or organizational level. Companies who invest in lobbying and campaign efforts must have an accurate assessment of a candidate’s stance on a given issue, as well as the probability of a successful run by that candidate. This information can be used to understand the magnitude of support a candidate will give to the issues that are important to the organization. In other words, will the candidate’s behavior align with the best interests of a company? Information gathered during political research can also be used to better understand public opinion, which can then be used to inform marketing efforts at the corporate level.
Although nobody wants to back the wrong horse, it is particularly critical for organizations to ensure their political donations are directed toward the proper candidate. Endorsement of an unpopular candidate can damage the reputation of the organization, generate negative publicity, or alienate the winner of the election. Unfortunately, backing an unpopular choice can have serious repercussions for the financial bottom line of an organization.
Regardless of the purpose behind the political research survey, it is of paramount importance the survey is administered in a methodologically rigorous fashion to ensure the data gathered is accurate. When you work with NBRI, you can be confident the data we gather is valid, meaning it truly represents the thinking of constituents. However, gathering the data is just the first step of the process. Understanding or interpreting the results is the second stage of the process, and during this step, NBRI works with you to ensure the conclusions drawn from the data are accurate, logical, and actionable. Our ClearPath Analytics identify the most important issues to constituents, allowing you to take the most appropriate course of action.
When you hire NBRI, you’re hiring more than a company to conduct survey research. You’re hiring a partner with a sincere interest in the health and success of your organization.
Give us a call. We’re confident that you’ll find us a valuable partner capable of fulfilling your survey research needs, and exceeding your expectations.
POLITICAL RESEARCH SURVEY CASE STUDY
A State legislator was trying to decide whether or not to run for Congress, and wanted to ‘test the waters’ before investing huge amounts of time and money into a campaign. He contacted NBRI to conduct a political research study.
The study showed that 47% of men and 28% of women in the State knew him. Of those, 57% and 78%, respectively, said they would vote for him. This meant that he could anticipate 27% of the male vote, and 22% of the female vote, if the election were held that day. With an estimated 49% of the vote, he decided to run, but he had work to do, and he needed to maximize his resources.
Armed with hard data, the candidate focused on reaching those who did not know him, and speaking to women’s issues. NBRI conducted pulse studies at 3 months and 6 months after campaign launch, and at 6 months, the data showed that 89% of men and 92% of women knew of the candidate, and that 68% and 75%, respectively, would vote for him. The candidate had achieved a majority of 65% of the vote going into the election by being guided by hard data.
The candidate easily won the election with 63% of the vote, well within the 3% margin of error of the NBRI data. The NBRI Political Research answered important questions for this candidate: should he run, what level of confidence should he have at various points in time, and who and what should be the foci of his resources and campaign at each of those points in time.
Standard Political Research Survey Topics
Research is in our blood. It’s who we are. It’s what we do. Our white papers highlight our philosophy on areas of business impacted by survey research.
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Questionnaire Context, Order, and Meaning – When designing questionnaires, the order of items on the creates a context, or meaning, for the entire questionnaire. Items placed early on in the questionnaire effect the way in which people respond to later questions.
When It Comes to Surveys, Hold the Phone – When CNN wants to gauge the president’s latest approval rating or a politician wants to check in on their poll numbers, they both turn to the same device – the telephone.
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