At the ABC NEWS Polling Unit, we are news reporters first; we think of public opinion as our beat – like covering the Supreme Court, the White House or the Pentagon. In many ways the process is the same: ABC News picks a topic, formulate questions, go to our best sources, ask what we need to know and report what we’ve learned. The difference is in the selection of our sources. Polling relies on the principles of inferential statistics, which state that we can draw inferences about a set (in this case, the American public) by examining a randomly assembled subset. Random selection is key: The fundamental requirement for any poll to be representative is that it be based on a valid, random sample of respondents.
Charter Member of the American Association of Public Opinion Research’s Transparency Initiative.