I. Survey Methodology
The Elon University Poll is conducted using a stratified random sample of households with telephones in the population of interest – in this case citizens in North Carolina. The
sample of telephone numbers for the survey is obtained from Survey Sampling International, LLC.
Selection of Households
To equalize the probability of telephone selection, sample telephone numbers are systematically stratified according to subpopulation strata (e.g., a zip code, a county, a state, etc.), which yields a sample from telephone exchanges in proportion to each exchange's share of telephone households in the population of interest. Estimates of telephone households in the population of interest are generally obtained from several databases. Samples of telephone numbers are distributed across all eligible blocks of numbers in proportion to the density of listed households assigned in the population of interest according to a specified subpopulation stratum. Upon determining the projected (or preferred) sample size, a sampling interval is calculated by summing the number of listed residential numbers in each eligible block within the population of interest and dividing that sum by the number of sampling points assigned to the population. From a random start between zero and the sampling interval, blocks are systematically selected in proportion to the density of listed household "working blocks." A block (also known as a
bank) is a set of contiguous numbers identified by the first two digits of the last four digits of a telephone number. A working block contains three or more working telephone numbers. Exchanges are assigned to a population on the basis of all eligible blocks in proportion to the density of working telephone households. Once each population's proportion of
telephone households is determined, then a sampling interval, based on that proportion, is calculated and specific exchanges and numbers are randomly selected. Because exchanges and numbers are randomly selected by the computer, unlisted as well as listed telephone numbers are included in the sample. Thus, the sample of telephone numbers generated for the population of interest constitutes a random sample of telephone households of the population, stratified by exchange.
Procedures Used for Conducting the Poll
thThe survey was conducted Monday, April 16th through Thursday, April 19 of 2007.
During this time calls were made from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm EST. The Elon University Poll uses CATI system software (computer assisted telephone interviewing) in the
administration of surveys. For each working telephone number in the sample, several attempts were made to reach the household. Only individuals in households 18 years or older were interviewed; those reached at business or work numbers were not interviewed. Interviews were completed with 476 adults from households in North Carolina. For a sample size of 476, there is a 95 percent probability that our survey results are within plus or minus 4.6 percent (the margin of error) of the actual population distribution for any given question. For sub-samples, the margin of error is higher depending on the size of the subsample. When we use a subsample, we identify these results as being from a subsample and provide the total number of respondents and margin of error for that subsample. In reporting our results, we note any use of a subsample where applicable.
Questions and Question Order
The Elon University Poll provides the questions as worded and the order in which these questions are administered (to respondents). Conspicuous in reviewing some questions is the “bracketed” information. Information contained within brackets ( [ ] ) denotes response options as provided in the question; this bracketed information is rotated per question to ensure that respondents do not receive a set order of response options presented to them, which also maintains question construction integrity by avoiding respondent acquiescence based on question composition. Some questions used a probe maneuver to determine a respondent’s intensity of perspective. Probe techniques used in this questionnaire mainly consist of asking a respondent if their response is more intense than initially provided. For example, upon indicating whether s/he is satisfied or dissatisfied, we asked the respondent “would you say you are very ”. This
technique is employed in some questions as opposed to specifying the full range of choices in the question. Though specifying the full range of options in questions is a commonly accepted practice in survey research, we sometimes prefer that the respondent determine whether their perspective is stronger or more intense for which the probe technique used. Another method for acquiring information from respondents is to ask an “open-ended”
question. The open-ended question is a question for which no response options are provided, i.e., it is entirely up to the respondent to provide the response information.
The Elon University Poll
The Elon University Poll is conducted under the auspices of the Center for Public Opinion Polling (Hunter Bacot, Director), which is a constituent part of the Institute for Politics and Public Affairs (George Taylor, Director); both these organizations are housed in the department of political science at Elon University. These academic units are part of Elon College, the College of Arts and Sciences at Elon University, which is under the direction of Dr. Steven House (Dean). The Elon University administration, led by Dr. Leo Lambert, President of the university, fully support the Elon University Poll as part of its service commitment to state, regional, and national constituents. Dr. Hunter Bacot, a professor in the department of political science, directs the Elon University Poll. Elon
University students administer the survey as part of the University’s commitment to
experiential learning where “students learn through doing.”
II. Survey Instrument and Percent Distributions by Question
Interviews were completed with 476 adults from households in the North Carolina. For a sample size of 476, there is a 95 percent probability that our survey results are within plus or minus 4.6 percent (the margin of error) of the actual population distribution for any given question. Data are weighted to reflect the adult population in terms of gender.
About the Codes appearing in Questions and Responses
Response Options not Response options are not offered to the person taking the survey
offered (respondent), but are included in the question as asked (and usually
denoted by brackets, [ ] ). Response options are generally offered
only for demographic (background characteristic) questions (e.g., age,
education, income, etc.).
v = volunteered response Respondents volunteer response option. As response options are not
offered to those taking the survey, some respondents offer or volunteer
response options. Though not all volunteered options can be
anticipated, the more common options are noted.
p = probed response Respondents self-place in this option or category. A probe maneuver
is used in questions to allow the respondent to indicate whether her/his
response is more intense than initially provided for in the choices
appearing in the question. For example, on probe questions the
interviewer, upon a respondent indicating that she/he is satisfied (or
dissatisfied), is instructed to ask him/her “Would you say you are “very
At this time, who are you planning to support for President of the United States? (open ended)
HILLARY CLINTON 10.4
BARACK OBAMA 9.1
JOHN EDWARDS 8.0
RUDY GUILIANI 5.3
JOHN MCCAIN 1.3
FRED THOMPSON 1.1
MITT ROMNEY .7
AL GORE .6
BILL RICHARDSON .4
NEWT GINGRICH .2
TOMMY THOMPSON .2
TOO EARLY TO TELL (v) 26.9
DON T KNOW (v) 30.3
OTHER (v) 4.7
REFUSED (v) .6
Total (476 +/-=4.6) 100.0
At this time who are you planning to support for Governor of North Carolina? (open ended)
BEVERLY PERDUE 3.4
RICHARD MOORE 1.8
BILL GRAHAM .9
FRED SMITH .4
BOB ORR .2
PATRICK BALLENTINE .2
TOO EARLY TO TELL (v) 27.8
DON T KNOW (v) 59.5
OTHER (v) 5.1
REFUSED (v) .6
Total (476 +/-=4.6) 100.0
Now I would like to know what you think about North Carolina s Senator, Elizabeth Dole. . .
Do you [approve or disapprove] of the way Elizabeth Dole is handling her job as United State's
STRONGLY 13.1 DISAPPROVE