Comparing Survey Sampling Strategies: Random-Digit Dial vs. Voter Files

Pew – “Despite sparseness of telephone numbers, a national registration-based poll yielded estimates on par with a parallel random-digit-dial poll: “A new telephone survey experiment finds that, despite major structural differences, an opinion poll drawn from a commercial voter file can produce results similar to those from a sample based on random-digit-dialing (RDD). The study intentionally pushed the boundaries of current polling practices by employing a voter file and a registration-based sampling (RBS) approach as the basis of a full national sample. While voter files are widely used for election surveys at the state and local level, relatively few pollsters have employed them for national surveys. As a result, there are few settled best practices for how to draw national samples from voter files and how to handle missing phone numbers. The study also tackles the question of how successful voter files are in representing Americans as a whole, including…

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