Rasmussen Reports collects data for its survey research using an automated polling methodology. Scott Rasmussen is a recognized pioneer in this field and has conducted automated surveys involving more than 4 million completed interviews since 1996. He has conducted more macro-sample studies than any other individual or company.
Generally speaking, the automated survey process is identical to that of traditional, operator-assisted, research firms such as Gallup, Harris, and Roper. However, we use a single, digitally-recorded, voice to conduct the interview while traditional firms rely on phone banks, boiler rooms, and operator-assisted technology.
For tracking surveys such as the 14-survey Election 2004 Survey Package, the automated technology insures that every respondent hears exactly the same question, from the exact same voice, asked with the exact same inflection every single time. A person taking our survey the week before the election will hear the exact same ballot question that another respondent heard six months earlier. this increases the reliability and comparative value of the tracking surveys.
The first step in any survey project is to design the study. For the Election 2004 Survey Package, we have designed a standard ballot portion of the survey including key demographics. Clients can add up to 10 custom questions per survey.
Following survey design, the Rasmussen Reports' questions are digitally recorded and fed to a calling program that determines question order, branching options, and other factors. Calls are placed to randomly-selected phone numbers through a process that insures appropriate geographic representation.
Survey questions to be asked on a given night are approved by noon on the day of the survey. Typically, calls are placed from 5 pm to 9 pm local time during the week. Saturday calls are made from 11 am to 6 pm local time and Sunday calls from 1 pm to 9 pm local time.
After the calls are completed, the raw data is transmitted to Rasmussen Reports. The data is processed through a weighting program to insure that the sample reflects the overall population in terms of age, race, gender, political party, and other factors.
The deliverables include all top-line numbers, a bullet-point summary of the data, charts, and key cross-tabs.