Ahead of the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, SurveyMonkey has launched a tool designed to provide real-time tracking of political polling across presidential, senatorial, and gubernatorial races in the U.S. The company intends to interview 2 million voters about their preference across various issues and candidates and make the data available for analysis within its platform.
“This presidential cycle will be historic for many reasons, but it will break new ground in the way pollsters, campaigns, and media are able to track opinions along the way,” explained SurveyMonkey’s chief research officer, Jon Cohen. For many people, this offering may not mean much, but releasing a tool dedicated to the political space doesn’t seem far-fetched for a company that’s centered around collecting and analyzing data.
SurveyMonkey said that it will conduct more than 10,000 interviews each week to provide its customers with up-to-date standing for this year’s political races. It estimates that it will survey 2 million voters with respondents “randomly selected from the more than 90 million responses the SurveyMonkey platform receives every month.”
Paying customers can dissect the data in a variety of ways, whether by gender, age, race, education, income, party affiliation, ideology, or geography. It’ll weight the data using the U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ current population survey. Lastly, SurveyMonkey enables filtering by state and week.
The election tracking tool is overseen by “two of the most respected pollsters in America,” namely Cohen, who previously ran polling at The Washington Post and Pew Research, and SurveyMonkey’s head of election polling, Mark Blumenthal, who is the cofounder of Pollster.com.
The appeal to campaign staff is the real-time feed and a more modern way of analyzing data. No longer will it require “significant” time or resources in order to assess how Americans feel about specific issues and candidates. Political operatives hunger for data that can be used to plot their candidate’s next steps toward being elected into office.
In addition to national data, SurveyMonkey will also look at state-level data in battleground states and in the 34 states with Senate races and the 12 that have gubernatorial elections.