The vast majority of Public Policy Polling’s surveys deal with campaigns, politics and public policy. Our samples are usually based on the voter registration database of a given state because the opinions of people who vote, and actually influence the system, matter most in these cases. We find this method to be more accurate for political purposes than random digit dialing.
Voter registration databases have lots of information on each individual voter including gender, race, party affiliation, age, address, precinct, municipality, county, districts, and voter history. They do not have phone numbers. PPP purchases samples from lists created by Aristotle International, Inc., a company who takes the voter databases of each available state and appends home phone numbers to match each voter. In targeting our surveys we can then select voters based on any of the registration criteria. For example, we could conduct a survey of only black voters from Cumberland County, NC who are registered Democrats.
In addition to the sample, each PPP survey begins by asking if the individual is a registered voter. This is to confirm we are talking to the right person as well as to weed out non-registered phone answerers. For some surveys we may get even more specific, such as asking if they intend to vote in a particular upcoming election. Again, we do our best to only survey those who will actually be casting ballots.