The La Follette Policy Poll was conducted from July 14 to September 24, 2021. Researchers at the La Follette School worked with the University of Wisconsin Survey Center (UWSC) to ensure an authoritative, representative poll. Nearly 1,600 residents answered the eight-page survey, distributed by mail to 5,000 randomly selected Wisconsin households.
The poll responses come from 71 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties, with high response rates making the results representative of public opinion in the Badger State. The margin of error for the full sample is +/- 2.5% (at 95% confidence).
Sample households were drawn to accurately represent all households in the State of Wisconsin. The sample was a probability-based, statistical sample drawn randomly from a list of all households in Wisconsin maintained by the Unites States Postal Service. Respondents could choose to respond by either mail or online.
The achieved response rate was 32.54%, a very high response rate for surveys of the general public conducted by mail. Probability samples such as the one used for this study give every household in the state an equal chance of being selected to participate. Additionally, all survey items were reviewed by survey design experts to ensure best practices for question design that help to ensure the collection of high quality data.
According to Chad Kniss, Senior Project Director at the UWSC, “These methods, combined with the high response rate obtained, make the results of the study much more likely to accurately represent the opinions of the adult population of the state of Wisconsin than studies conducted using opt-in or convenience-based methods, or results from those that do not obtain high response rates.”
The UWSC is a unit of the College of Letters & Science (L&S) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. It has been conducting social research surveys since it was founded in 1987 and was chosen to field the La Follette Policy Poll because of the Center’s reputation for collecting high quality survey research data and for using best practices in survey methods.