Topline Results for Key Research Statewide Voter Survey

Releasing the full results serves as a model for the kind of transparency we would like to see more of in public polling in the state of Utah.

Key Research, a survey and market research company based in Provo, recently cooperated with faculty at BYU’s Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy to conduct a statewide survey.

We’ve already posted some of the results including some scenarios for the Republican U.S. Senate primary and the results of questions probing how Utah Mormons feel about Mitt Romney’s candidacy.

Click here to download a topline report that includes the full survey questionnaire, frequencies for each question, and a detailed methodological report (including details about the sampling as well as response rates and cooperation rates).  Releasing the full results serves as a model for the kind of transparency we would like to see more of in public polling in the state of Utah.

What else is in the survey that we haven’t written about?  The survey includes approval ratings for Governor Herbert (78%), the state legislature (64%), and President Obama (27%) as well as favorability ratings for some of Utah’s incumbent office holders.

We also asked survey respondents to rate their own personal financial situation and Utah’s economy (compared to a year ago).  These numbers will become more interesting as the questions are regularly repeated over time and as political leadership in the state and nation changes hands.

Our first experience working with the team at Key Research was a big success and we plan to consult with them on their surveys in the future.  Stay tuned.

Survey Methodology

The sample was drawn from the publicly available file of Utah registered voters. A model of general election turnout was estimated using age, party registration status, length of registration, and past election turnout. This model was used to estimate a probability of voting in the 2012 general election. A Probability Proportionate to Size (PPS) sample was draw using this turnout estimate such that voters with a higher probability of voting have a higher probability of being selected in the sample. For a detailed explanation of a similar model used with PPS sampling in an online survey, see Michael Barber, Chris Mann, J. Quin Monson, and Kelly D. Patterson. “Online Polls and Registration Based Sampling: A New Method for Pre-election Polling.” The sample was then matched to a database of telephone numbers and sampled voters were administered a questionnaire over the telephone by Key Research. The survey field dates were June 12, 2012 – June 19, 2012. The sample of 500 produces a margin of error of 4.4%.

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About Quin Monson

Quin Monson is Associate Professor of Political Science and a Senior Scholar with the Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy at Brigham Young University.
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7 Responses to Topline Results for Key Research Statewide Voter Survey

  1. Brett says:

    This seems strongly biased toward Strong Republicans. 34% are strong Republicans? That doesn’t seem representative of Utah’s mostly moderate, unaffiliated voting population.

    • Adam Brown says:

      I wasn’t involved with this survey, but I’ll offer a quick reply.

      My version of the voter file (current as of late 2010) shows that 43.5% of Utah’s voters are registered as Republicans with only 8.9% registered as Democrats. Meanwhile, this survey finds 45% identifying as Republican and 12% identifying as Democratic. That sounds remarkably accurate to me and well within the margin of error.

      There’s a reason Utah is often considered among the most Republican states in the nation. You might find this post interesting.

    • Quin Monson says:

      I inadvertently posted a long reply below instead of posting it here.

  2. Quin Monson says:

    It is important to distinguish between party registration (what is recorded on the voter registration record) and party identification (what we measure in the survey as a psychological attachment or affinity for a political party). It is also important to remember that the survey sample is designed to be representative of a probable general election electorate and not all registered voters. The analysis we’ve posted includes some attempts to get at a primary electorate for the Republican Senate primary, but the toplines posted here are of all survey respondents and should reflect statewide voters in a general election.

    The survey question for party identification is identical to the questions used on the Utah Colleges Exit Polls that BYU has conducted statewide since 1982. The 34% identifying as strong Republicans in this particular survey is a little on the high side compared to the 2010 exit poll (29.5% strong Republican), but it was at 37% as recently as 2006 and at 35% in 2004, so it’s not wildly out of line.

    If you look at the sample we drew from the voter file, the voter registration is 52% registered Republican, 9% Democrat, 38% unaffiliated, and the rest some other party (none reach even 1%). Of those that respond to the survey it’s 59% registered Republican, 10% Democrat, 30% unaffiliated, and a small handful of others. So, we got a few more registered Republicans in this survey that we probably should have given the sample. That might be because of the primary election season that is more interesting to Republicans leading them to be more interested in responding to a political survey in the middle of June. It might reflect more interest in the general election by Republicans because of Mitt Romney’s candidacy. So, even though it’s a bit higher than those drawn in the sample, the non response by unaffiliated voters might actually reflect something about what is currently happening in Utah or what is likely to happen this fall. It could also mean that the poll is a little Republican heavy too, but as the party identification numbers show, this isn’t way out of proportion to what we see in Utah in a general election in recent years. This is a very Republican state.

  3. Adam Hughes says:

    Is the data file (.dta or .csv) also available?

  4. Adam Hughes says:

    Still waiting on an answer to my previous question…

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