Cell Phone Interviewing
“Cell-only” respondents have recently become attitudinally different from demographically similar respondents reached on a traditional landline. According to a 2012 National Center for Health Statistics study, 34% of US adults live in cell-phone only households. While voters have lower cell-only rates than adults overall, minority voters and voters in urban areas have higher cell-only rates than voters overall. We strongly recommend including a cell phone component to our survey work.
Because we’re a boutique firm, we only take on the number of clients we can handle, and provide you and your team with the attention you deserve. Our involvement doesn’t end when the research project ends. We read and comment on your press releases and clips, your mail plan, and your media plan. We’ll participate in your organization’s training programs, conferences, and strategy sessions. You’ll have unfettered access to the principal, and as much of our time as you need.
Creating a good message entails not just explaining our positions, but also listening to voters explain their own. And while we’re part of events here in Washington, we’ve learned many good ideas come from outside the Beltway. Some examples include our messaging on breast cancer coverage, equal pay, methamphetamine use, child support enforcement, and domestic violence. We also remove our own personal bias, so we can create the best message that fits both a candidate and their district.
We have an excellent record of accuracy. Well before any handicappers predicted Congressman Phil English (PA-3) to lose in an upset, we showed little-known candidate Kathy Dahlkemper tied, and she went on to win her 2008 campaign. We had a similar experience in Pennsylvania’s 10th district. Our April 2006 survey put then challenger Chris Carney on handicappers’ radars. In 2008, we challenged public polling about the race, and were ultimately vindicated. But in 2010, we saw both races narrow as Election Day approached, and special interest money flooded the state. We also have an outstanding record of accuracy in hard-to-predict primaries in places like Massachusetts, Baltimore, and Birmingham. In 2010, we also worked with the Maryland Senate Caucus, polling in nearly 20 districts and correctly predicting a 2-seat gain for Democrats in that chamber (and the right two seats).
Fairness in Public Reporting
We take the public release of our numbers seriously. While sometimes it seems there might be a short-term gain from circulating optimistic numbers, reckless poll releases hurt not just our clients but our industry. Our polling memos are clearly written, and we’re always available to explain the details to donors, the press, and other audiences.
Sound Business Practices
No one who has worked with us doubts our commitment to our clients. Prompt responses and flexible scheduling are standard operating procedure. Our questionnaire development process is always well- organized, clear and collaborative, so the entire team can provide input from beginning to end. Billing is also precise and prompt, so there are no surprises. We believe that authenticity and honesty are essential not just when communicating to voters, but in internal campaign dynamics as well. And as Democrats, we walk the walk when it comes to health care benefits for our employees.
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