2017 Zandan Poll Methodology:

Cambia Information Group interviewed 813 Austin-area residents from the entire Austin Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). Interviewing was conducted in early March 2017 and completed by March 13th to avoid the Spring Break holiday. The survey was administered online and could be taken on a computer or on any mobile device and was offered in both English and Spanish.

Cambia used two premier online sample vendors as the primary sample source. Cambia and both sample vendors comply with or exceed, all applicable industry standards published by ESOMAR, the MRS, and CASRO.

Respondents were required to be at least 18 years of age to participate. They represented a broad spread across age, income, ethnicity, political interest, and area in which they live. Once the data collection was complete, Cambia undertook a careful comparison of all demographics to the 2015 American Community Survey (U.S. Census Bureau, 5-year average) data for the Austin MSA. The Zandan Poll was weighted to U.S. Census on the following demographic variables: gender, income, ethnicity, college-educated and children in a household. A small number of interviews and questions were removed for concerns regarding reliability.

The final results are demographically representative and data collection successfully closely aligned to the U.S. Census results.

Additional Research Notes: 

1. Sample Source: In choosing a sampling method, the goal of pollsters is to be as inclusive of the polled population as possible. Over time, researchers have grown concerned that telephone interviewing is no longer as representative as online interviewing, especially among certain demographic groups who do not maintain landlines, move often, or have opted into do-not-call lists. The Zandan Poll was conducted using an online survey instrument. The Austin Internet Project found that 94% of people in Austin have Internet access at home, compared to 78% of the nation as a whole (Nielsen), a figure that does not include those who have access to the Internet via smartphones (certain demographics, such as Hispanics, are more likely than the general population to have a smartphone – Pew Research). 47% of respondents took the 2015 Zandan Poll on a mobile device, up from 27% in 2015.

2. Representation: Dever, Rafferty and Vallient (2008) found that “statistical adjustments can reduce, if not eliminate, coverage bias in [Internet surveys]” by using sufficient demographic variables in the post-stratification weighting, including education and children in the household (both of these are included in Zandan Poll weighting). Between the large Internet penetration in the Austin area, the ability to weight to Census data on key variables, and scholarly research showing the validity of this approach, the concern of excluding potential non-internet respondents is substantially reduced. Additionally, studies have shown that respondents, when given the choice, widely prefer online surveys to phone-based surveys (Hogg, 2002).

Special thanks to all those who have generously contributed to making the 2017 Zandan Poll a success. I have sponsored and overseen this study for many years and we could not make this a reality for our community without the bright minds and countless hours put in by this team.

I’d like to recognize the following for their contributions:

Jack Martin, Global Chairman and CEO of Hill+Knowlton Strategies, for his continued support for the Zandan Poll.

The Hill+Knowlton Strategies Austin team

  • Merrill Davis, EVP and General Manager, for her strategic guidance and oversight of all media and community outreach efforts
  • Melanie Martin, Managing VP, for digital campaign direction
  • David Weberlein, Creative/Art Director, for his creative and graphic design talents
  • Amber Mittman, Video Content Producer, for video content design and production
  • Itzel Garcia, Digital Fellow, for website design and social content creation
  • Kimberly Collins, Research+Data Insights, for media and event coordination

The Cambia Information Group team

  • Sharon Reddehase, Vice President, for her leadership directing all aspects of the Zandan Poll
  • Karlan Witt, Senior Partner, for her strategic guidance on the research design and analysis
  • Jeff Modlin, Project Manager, for day-to-day management of survey design, fielding, and analysis

Frank Ward of The MACH 1 Group, for serving as Senior Advisor to the project

David Iannelli of Hudson Pacific, for serving as Political Advisor to the project

Nate Kania of Quantified Communications, for his generous contributions to the survey design

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