Correcting for Survey Effects in Pre-election Polls
AbstractPre-election polls can suffer from survey effects. For example, surveyed individuals can become more aware of the upcoming election so that they become more inclined to vote. These effects may depend on factors like political orientation and prior intention to vote, and this may cause biases in forecasts of election outcomes. We advocate a simple methodology to estimate the magnitude of these survey effects, which can be taken into account when translating future poll results into predicted election outcomes. The survey effects are estimated by collecting survey data both before and after the election. We illustrate our method by means of a field study with data concerning the 2009 European Parliament elections in the Netherlands. Our study provides empirical evidence of significant positive survey effects with respect to voter participation, especially for individuals with low intention to vote. For our data, the overall survey effect on party shares is small. This effect can be more substantial for less balanced survey samples, for example, if political orientation and voting intention are correlated in the sample. We conclude that pre-election polls that do not correct for survey effects will overestimate voter turnout and will have biased party shares.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Erasmus University Rotterdam, Econometric Institute in its series Econometric Institute Report with number EI 2010-20.
Date of creation: 31 Mar 2010
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data collection; bias correction; survey effects; intention modification; pre-election polls; turnout forecast; self-prophecy;
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2010-04-17 (All new papers)
- NEP-CDM-2010-04-17 (Collective Decision-Making)
- NEP-ECM-2010-04-17 (Econometrics)
- NEP-FOR-2010-04-17 (Forecasting)
- NEP-POL-2010-04-17 (Positive Political Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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"Quantitative Models in Marketing Research,"
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