GOTV Political Polling by Margie Omero

By at October 13, 2011 | 4:43 pm | Print

GOTV Political Polling by Margie Omero

There are four principles for developing poll questions that can help with using your poll for GOTV. View your questionnaire through the lens of these guidelines before you begin calling.

  • Think before you ask: Plan and discuss GOTV polling questions before going in the field. Include demographics, some of which may already be on your voter file, so they don’t need to be re-asked. Simple attitudinal questions may also be useful such as whether the area is on the right or wrong track.
  • Put yourself in the mind of the voter and the respondent: Most swing voters are not closely following your race. That’s what makes them swing, so every poll question should assume very little, be short and clear, and remove jargon and unnecessary numbers or acronyms.
  • Pick the best dependent variable: The dependent variable is what you’re trying to predict in your post-poll modeling. Sometimes you’re trying to predict who is voting for your candidates and other times its undecided voters. It’s important to have an open mind about what works best for your actual race and poll results.
  • Ensure participant confidentiality: Poll respondents should be told their responses are confidential. That means you should not call undecided poll respondents for GOTV efforts, but you can use what you learn about undecided voters to build a GOTV plan.

By following these guidelines, a good poll can be useful not just for message development but also GOTV.

Originally posted in the free GOTV to Win ebook.

Margie Omero is President and founder of Momentum Analysis, LLC, a Democratic public opinion research firm based in Washington, DC. She is an award-winning pollster, recently named one of “50 Politicos To Watch” by Politico, and a “Mover and Shaker” by Politics Magazine. Omero frequently comments on political trends, and appears regularly on television, radio, and print. Her work as a pollster.com/Huffington Post blogger has appeared on “Hardball”, in ABC’s “The Note”, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and in Salon.com. She is also a regular contributor to Politico’s “The Arena”.

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