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2022 Collaborative Midterm Survey

Funded in part by the National Science Foundation, the 2022 Collaborative Midterm Survey aimed to help promote innovation, inform the future of survey research, and understand the midterm election.

Comprised of multiple teams engaged in multiple modes of data collection, the 2022 CMS was a unique project from conception through execution and analysis. Three data collection teams used ten data collection methods to ask 205 questions of 19,820 total respondents.

The full project data is available here in the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research, at the links below.

Then in January 2023, experts from industry, academia, and media offered their perspectives on the innovations, methods, and data during the 2022 Collaborative Midterm Survey Hackathon. All panelists received the survey data in advance and incorporated their analyses into the presentations and comments.

The Roper Center for Public Opinion Research was proud to have been a partner in the 2022 Collaborative Midterm Survey.

Project Details and Goals

  1. Help Understand the 2022 Midterm Election. From 1958 to 2002, the American National Election Study (ANES) conducted midterm surveys to provide insights into elections, voting behavior, and outcomes. While high quality election surveys can always offer important and unique insights into voter preferences and behaviors, media and campaign effects, and political representation and democratic accountability, understanding these factors in the context of midterm elections has never been more important.

  2. Expand understanding of key segments of the electorate. Surveys are often too small and methodologically opaque to analyze variation within racial, geographic, partisan, and other important groups. The sample size of nearly 20,000 combined with methodological transparency and an emphasis on hard-to-reach populations will allow for analyzing state-level data as well as subgroups of the population. Further, we will partner with other election surveys to include some common questions and demographic variables, allowing the Collaborative Midterm Survey to be merged with these surveys, creating an unprecedented opportunity to understand the preferences, attitudes, and behaviors of groups that are impossible to analyze in traditional surveys.

  3. Promote innovative, collaborative, and cost-effective survey strategies. Most survey projects make decisions about sample size, sample type, and survey provider early in the process based on budget constraints and on what strategies have proved effective in the past. To encourage innovation, we are flipping this model and soliciting proposals that encourage methodological diversity and innovation. The budget will be large enough to allow risks and innovative strategies. At the same time, the competitive proposal process encourages cost effective strategies. To ensure collaboration, up to three proposals will be selected to implement the Collaborative Midterm Survey. Proposals can come from any sector, including researchers, nonprofit organizations, survey organizations, tech firms, media organizations, or teams representing a combination of these or other areas.

  4. Develop a transparent, data-driven, and inclusive framework that allows direct assessment of the advantages and tradeoffs of various survey methods. Declining survey response rates amidst rapidly shifting survey methods and changing social conditions mean it is increasingly difficult to identify the most accurate and cost-effective survey strategies. These challenges are especially important to solve for the many government surveys designed to understand economic and business conditions, health outcomes, crime victimization, and many other areas. The combination of three collaborators that each use multiple methodological strategies to conduct the same survey during the same time period along with rigorous methodological disclosure will allow the 2022 Collaborative Midterm Survey to offer unprecedented insight into the advantages and tradeoffs of various survey methods. Recognizing tradeoffs is important, because it may be that some methods are better for reaching harder-to-reach populations, while other methods yield more accurate national or state-level data. Thus, the 2022 Collaborative Midterm Survey does not imply that a single best approach exists. Rather, the collaborative and multi-method approach is designed to offer a comprehensive and inclusive framework for identifying tradeoffs of various sampling and methodological strategies. The 2022 Collaborative Midterm Survey will include numerous indicators that can be compared to known population benchmarks at the state and national level. We envision this framework being used in future surveys, offering an ongoing transparent, data-driven, and inclusive framework to continually monitor the most effective survey methods for various goals.

  5. Rapid and public dissemination of results. All data and methodological documentation will be made publicly available through the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research and the project website. The data will be made available through an easy-to-use search interface and presented through intuitive data visualizations. Furthermore, a data launch and hackathon will take place on January 20. This event will be livestreamed to encourage broad attendance. Finally, methodological reports and recommendations written by the project team and others will be made accessible through the project website.