Public-Interest Polling

The Story of the Offer to Polling Organizations

prior to Aug. 22, 2007 is a non-profit research organization unaffiliated with any political party. Its project, ATI, designed, conducted and sponsored over 30 surveys from 1987 through 1999 and advised, pro bono, NGOs wanting help and advice for their own surveys.

In July 2007 ATI designed the first draft of a poll, that came to be called, "Constitution and Governance Issues", that explored the difficulties between the President, the Congress, and the Judiciary likely to continue beyond this presidency and that raises complex, intriguing, controversial and important issues with enormous impact on what kind of a country the US will become.

We offered polling organizations something unusual, a very specific offer to work cooperatively and collectively with those similarly inclined organizations who realize the importance of understanding better the public's views on this important issue. We gave incentives to polling organizations to take this offer. When we accepted inclusion into the survey of questions that replaced existing draft questions, such questions were included by us at NO charge to the organization, and if they asked for it, we agreed to attribute and credit that question to their organization, NOT to us. When they wished to learn what a change in bias of question wording does to a finding, we split the sample between our question and theirs to test the effect of both question versions at NO charge to them. If they requested credit, we acknowledged them as the author of their version of the question.

For questions submitted that did not replace a draft question, organizations were asked to pay a fair share of the cost that amounted to less than $800/question, and, as in omnibus surveys, was calculated as the fraction of interview time for the question relative to the time of the whole survey multiplied by the field house cost of the whole survey. There was NO mark-up by us.

We were OVERWHELMED by the response of cooperating organizations. Many of the poll questions have been modified or split-sampled with their collaboration. One lengthy question was deleted altogether. You can compare the findings of the completed survey with earlier versions you received from us to see the development, and with the final questionnaire

The survey was in the field from August 20th through August 26th, 2007. As with the earlier survey drafts, all polling organizations have permission from us to cite any portion of these findings. We consider our poll findings along with earlier poll drafts, as open source that require fair attribution to for citations. FULL REPORT "Constitution and Governance Issues"

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