NEW YORK (Reuters) - In January 2012, Reuters embarked on a polling project that flipped mainstream polling on its head. Instead of using telephones to gather results on a semi-regular basis, we partnered with the research firm Ipsos and opted to reach a huge number of mostly pre-screened respondents online. The result is that we have not only polled far more people than a traditional telephone survey can reach, but we’ve been polling continuously for more than a year and a half, asking hundreds of questions of about 11,000 people every month.
It was a bold step, but one that paid off: It was among the most accurate polls on the Monday before the election. But to view the Reuters/Ipsos poll as simply an election survey would be to miss the vastness of this effort. Since the project started, we have asked questions about everything from political scandals and overseas revolutions to social network use and the U.S. government’s surveillance of its citizens.
In addition, the poll collects a huge array of demographic information about those who respond, ranging from age, race, sex and political affiliation to income, marital status, sexual orientation and religious affiliation. All questions can be filtered by these demographics, allowing for an unprecedented and detailed view of the mosaic that is America.
The results of that work are now available for the public to explore through the Reuters Polling Explorer. No other public tool exposes so much data about how Americans view each other, their world, their government and politics. The explorer is updated twice a week, on Tuesdays and Fridays, and new questions are added almost every week.
If you wish to use any of these results please cite the Reuter/Ipsos Poll and where practical link back to the polling explorer (polling.reuters.com). The size and approximate credibility interval (the measure of precision used with this poll) should be cited along with the dates and the sample size. All of that information is available in the explorer charts or by viewing the results as table.
We also invite questions about what we have produced. My name is Maurice Tamman and I run the public opinion polling in the Reuters newsroom. I can be reached at Maurice.Tamman@reuters.com.
Editing by Claudia Parsons