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Polls Definition: Polls can be defined as a survey or a type of inquiry conducted in a scientific and unbiased manner to read the public opinion concerning a certain issue or a series of issues. In a traditional method, interviewer, or the pollster would ask a question or series of questions to a group of randomly selected people representing a certain population. Responses from participants were collected and interpretation was made manually using different data analysis techniques and statistical formulas. The modern polling technique is much easier and more accurate (about a 3% margin of error); hence widely accepted and used to conduct polls.
Example: ‘Election polls’ by far is the best example of polls. However, different organizations do utilize polls to acquire quick feedback from their followers, like for naming a new product, to understand which logo design makes an impact, to understand how people of a specific locality commute daily to work, etc. Accordingly, a poll was conducted by Research America in the USA to understand the number of people considering child abuse and neglect as a public health problem. Two questions used in that poll are
Do you consider child abuse and neglect is a public health problem in the US?
Do you agree or disagree with the fact that child abuse and neglect is a worrisome problem in your locality?
From the '80s until recently, telephonic calls was the preferred and only medium to conduct polls. Most national polling organizations would ask questions to random Americans across the country to note down their responses related to a pressing issue. Then came the internet. Although it took some time for pollsters to become used to and master the idea of online polls, they were the ones to understand and try different online poll maker platforms for their benefit. The fact that the majority of polls today are conducted online is no more a secret to avid poll participants.
Whoever wants to create a poll, has to create either a single question or a set of poll questions that are then used to determine or predict what people believe, how they feel about something, and/or in what way will they act. Sensing the growing need of a holistic poll maker, many online survey tool vendors, as well as new enterprises, started offering an online platform to create a free poll. It is effortless, easy, and efficient to create a poll using these tools. However, before you create your own poll, here are the nine major types of polls you must know.
The opinion polls is conducted conducted to collect opinions from a specific set of a sample. The motive behind conducting an opinion poll is to gather the opinion of a certain population by asking them a series of questions related to an issue or a subject and then inferring general responses in ratio or within confidence intervals.
A benchmark poll is probably the first poll conducted even before the start of a campaign. Often, a benchmark poll is conducted even before the candidate announces his/her nomination for the office. Nevertheless, in rare instances, it is conducted after the announcement with a parallel motive of raising funds. To create a poll a proper benchmark to compare performance is created and is generally done before the start of the campaign. The results of the benchmark poll help in analyzing where the contestant stands compared to its competitors.
Bushfire polls lie between benchmark and tracking polls and can be taken multiple times depending on the need and motive. The stiffness in competition and expenses on the campaign required to enhance the image, reputation, awareness of the brand determine the number of bushfire campaigns conducted. These polls are created with a focus on voters and are often lengthy covering varied questions on pressing issues.
A poll conducted at fixed intervals either with the same set of questions or with fresh questions averaging over a trailing period. Suppose a tracking poll is conducted on a weekly basis, then for each fresh poll, the data from the previous poll is used after discarding the older data.
Example: Healthcare came out to be one of the most pressing issue voters are concerned about in a tracking poll conducted in early 2018. In mid-2018 tracking poll concluded that voters are interested to see hear candidates speaking about healthcare in the congressional campaigns. In succeeding tracking polls, the issues escalated towards foreign policy, visa policies, climate change, etc.
A poll conducted before voters casting their vote is called an entrance poll. Usually, the entrance poll is taken to understand the voter's opinion on voting and other similar electoral issues. As there is less scope of people differing from their original opinion, the margin of error in the entrance poll is very less compared to that of an opinion poll.
Contrast to entrance poll, an exit poll is taken immediately after the voter exits the polling station. These polls are conducted to gauge the winning candidate way before the votes are counted and the results are declared. However, the exit polls do carry a greater margin of error as people are reluctant to share the factual information hence chances are more people might mislead the pollsters by giving false information.
A deliberative opinion poll is a unique form of polling wherein public opinion research is used in a new as well as constructive way. The deliberative opinion poll comes up with an assumptive conclusion of public opinion - if they had an opportunity to gather more knowledge and more information pertaining to the issue.
A push poll is considered less as a polling method and more as an interactive marketing technique. The poll is designed and created with a single motive to alter or influence the view of respondents. The goal of the push poll is to reach masses, irrespective of their will and is designed with suggestive and inclined questions ensuring each respondent is pushed to adopt an unfavorable response benefitting the pollster's candidate.
A straw poll is considered as an ad-hoc or an unofficial poll conducted to understand the opinion or behavior of people related to some issue. Straw polls are often used as a medium to approximate the strength of a certain candidate in the election, to understand support he is getting from the constituency, to analyze if the campaign is going in the right direction or not.
Everyone at some point would like to get their doubts cleared or their decisions backed by understanding the public sentiments. Polls are definitely one of the prominent mediums to gauge the public opinion related to a certain topic. Here is how you can create a free poll in three easy steps using an eloquent online poll maker.
Public polls are written questions; either a single question or a series of questions designed to predict the public opinions, what they believe, what they perceive, and a way in which they react. The outcome of the polls is used in numerous ways, from naming a new product to promoting a new car and from propagating a specific TV program to understanding the pressing issues faced by certain locality.
Apart from what people’s concern, polls are now used as an informative weapon in politics. Right from the candidates contesting elections to the media houses, everyone uses polls to fulfill their own motives. Candidates might use polls to design and define the course of their election campaign and media houses might use the polls to understand who is leading where and whose chances are higher to emerge victorious. Depending on the result of polls, candidates are able to streamline their expenses. Moreover, polls help them understand the weak points in the current campaign forcing them to reshape their remaining campaign with a focus to remove those weak spots.
By conducting a poll, you actually understand a specific viewpoint public has towards the topic of your interest. Polls will never tell you or you won't be able to analyze the polls to understand how and why people think what they are thinking or what you need to do for changing the public opinion. On the contrary, a poll is just a tool, helping us measure public sentiments, what they think, believe, and feel about a given issue.
People of all kind, researchers, professional pollsters, activists, and even normal citizens regularly cite polls, especially those that are relevant to their topic of interest. However, people are too sensitive and skeptical of these polls, especially when they start feeling that the opinion is moving in the wrong direction. Sometimes pollsters adopt unethical ways to conduct polls. Therefore, it is necessary to analyze if they are asking the right questions? Are they manipulating the question content to derive the answers in their favor? Or what set of the sample they selected to conduct the polls? In addition to that, when media houses, political parties, or marketers start offering money to take polls, then for sure it raises the barometer of mistrust regarding these polls.
The accuracy of a poll depends on the degree of characteristics or the quality of participants. Simple random sampling works sometimes for some polls; but, for an illustrative poll, targeted participants matching the ideal persona of the required respondent is a must. If a poll is conducted to predict the outcome of an election targeting 16-year-old pupil, it won't work, as these people are not eligible to vote.
Stay away from asking emotionally charged, biased, or unclear questions as they might mislead the participants hampering the accuracy of poll results. As far as possible avoid inclined poll questions like which candidate do you prefer, Candidate 'A' or Candidate 'B'? Or Whom do you plan to vote, Candidate 'A' or Candidate 'B'? These questions will not only heighten mistrust about the poll, but the results you achieve out of such polls will also be inaccurate.
Apart from participants and questions, the time when the poll is conducted matters a good deal in analyzing the results. If you have conducted a poll last year to understand whom people prefer to be a President of America in 2020 will differ greatly in results if you conduct a similar poll before going to elections. As a pragmatism - recent polls or fresh polls provide more accurate and meaningful data as compared to the old polls.
Before going public with the interpretation of poll results, it is a duty of a responsible pollster or research organization to consider and declare the potential of error in their poll. Depending on the size of the sample and by using statistical possibilities, it is easy to retrieve a margin of error in a poll.
Thanks to the technology evolution for easing the pain and effort needed to create a poll. If you are interested to take a poll (any poll either related to business or elections) all you need is a free online poll maker..