Frequently Asked Questions

Polling methodology?

Data for Pulse Opinion Research survey research is collected using an automated polling methodology.

Generally speaking, the automated survey process is identical to that of traditional, operator-assisted research firms.  However, automated polling systems use a single, digitally-recorded, voice to conduct the interview while traditional firms rely on phone banks, boiler rooms, and operator-assisted technology.

All Pulse Opinion Research survey 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. 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.

To reach those who have abandoned traditional landline telephones, Pulse Opinion Research uses an online survey tool to interview randomly selected participants from  a demographically diverse panel.

After the surveys are completed, the raw 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 processing step is required because different segments of the population answer the phone in different ways. For example, women answer the phone more than men, older people are home more and answer more than younger people, and rural residents typically answer the phone more frequently than urban residents.

For surveys of all adults, the population targets are determined by census bureau data.

For political surveys, census bureau data provides a starting point and a series of screening questions are used to determine likely voters. The questions involve voting history, interest in the current campaign, and likely voting intentions.

Pulse Opinion Research determines its partisan weighting targets through a dynamic weighting system that takes into account the state’s voting history, national trends, and recent polling in a particular state or geographic area.

Any restrictions on what I can poll about?

We will not poll subject matter that we deem explicit, lewd or otherwise inappropriate. In addition, Pulse reserves the right to decline a poll that is requested for a locality where we deem the population to be too small to generate an adequate survey sample. As a general rule, the total population of a survey area should be at least 100,000 or more to generate an adequate sample.

Custom Surveys?

The Pulse website is designed with polling templates that suit the needs of most of our clients and are built to survey likely voters or adults, and the listed pricing only applies to these types of polls. We encourage you to utilize one of these existing templates as they have the benefit of being both the most economical and have the shortest turn-around time for you. However, If you cannot fit your survey into one of the site options (i.e. you need to survey only Republicans or only women, and not all adults or likely voters), then we do offer the option of a custom survey. To inquire about pricing and delivery times on custom surveys, go to the Contact Us page and submit your requirements and/or questions. We will respond with a quote.

How much does it cost to do a poll?

The cost of your poll directly corresponds with the level of survey complexity you choose. Please consult our rate card. Note that different rates apply to surveys conducted in North Dakota, Indiana, Iowa, Alaska and Hawaii. Contact us for more information.

How long does it take to do my poll?

For most surveys, upon finalizing your questions it can take up to three business days to launch the survey. Once the survey is complete it can take up to three business days to deliver the final results. If you are adding custom questions to one of our surveys, it can take up to 10 business days to get the survey done after question approval, since we have to fit the question into one of our existing surveys in the schedule. For a surcharge, we can accommodate rush orders. Please contact us to find out more.