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Survey Politics: Finding the Best Political Survey Questions

Your survey method influences the quality of your research. So do the types of questions you ask. The best political survey questions are those which aren't restrictive. Questions should allow for grey areas and complex opinions. This allows the respondent to be honest. So they'll answer without feeling like they're betraying their principals or party.

The problem with these types of questions is that they create a chance for data overload. If you are too inclusive of all potential answers, you’ll end up with too many varied responses. This makes analysis difficult or impossible. So how do you create the best political survey questions? And how do you know it won't cause an analysis nightmare?

Topic Matters

Unless you are conducting a broad and general survey, you’ll need to narrow down your question topics. Only cover a handful of issues. Consider your demographics and the issues usually most important to them. You can always conduct more surveys about other topics later. You’ll get better responses if people care about the topic at hand.

Wording Matters

The best political survey questions are neutral in tone. Do not lead respondents in one direction or the other with your questions. Avoid asking questions with simple “yes” or “no” answers. Unless they are the only possible choices.

For example, a person is either registered to vote or not. In that case answering yes or no to, “Are you registered to vote?” is appropriate.

On the other hand, people may have a complex opinion about whether drug users should be eligible for government assistance. Yes or no doesn't work here.

In the 2nd example, try presenting your question in the form of a statement. This way the question can net more valuable responses. You might say, “Drug testing should be mandatory for government assistance programs.” Then provide a series of answers ranging from “Strongly Agree” to “Strongly Disagree.” You may even add some nuances that allow the respondent to agree or disagree, but with conditions.

Order Matters

The order of your questions should be as random as possible. You might want to ask questions in a series that makes logical sense to help the respondent focus. In doing so you could be creating bias or shifting the respondent’s opinion. Keeping the questions randomized helps to prevent this phenomenon. You then yield more accurate data.

We can help you build surveys that are effective and powerful. We know how to create the best political survey questions and present them in a way that gets usable results. Let us help you with your project today.

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