Dr. Drew Linzer, director of Civiqs, recently joined Nathaniel Pearlman of The Great Battlefield podcast to talk about the work being done by Civiqs, recruiting a diverse survey panel, and what he’s learned about public opinion from his work. Civiqs conducts daily polling on a variety of issues and uses a unique approach to gather a diverse cohort of participants so that the surveys are both accurate and representative. According to Linzer,
“We try to find people where they are, and ask them to participate. We try to cover as broad a spectrum of the internet as we can. What we want to do is make it so that the people that we’re talking to are generally representative; not just clustered in certain types of areas or demographic groups, but also behavioral groups.”
Surveying the panel every day with unpaid panelists, says Linzer, allows Civiqs to more accurately track the dynamics of attitude change over time:
“If you pay someone to answer surveys, it completely rearranges their incentives both for participating and for answering truthfully. So one thing that we have embraced at Civiqs, is that we ask people to participate not because they’re being paid, but because they want to participate. People that are paid answer less truthfully. I think that this is something that has helped our results be more accurate.”
Many common misconceptions exist regarding data collection methods and the accuracy of the results. Linzer explains that quantitative data can help remedy these misconceptions — citing, for instance, increased support for stricter gun control, the Affordable Care Act, and raising taxes on the wealthy that he has seen in Civiqs polls over the years:
“I think, generally speaking, folks don’t understand that the policies supported by Democratic candidates and the Democratic party are much more broadly popular than what conventional wisdom would make it out to be.”
You can listen to the full interview here.
Check out Civiqs’ polling dashboard here.
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