Election season in our industry is an especially busy period where we find ourselves handling a large volume of time sensitive political projects, primarily through phone or on-line data collection. Typically, the period begins after Labour Day and by the time October rolls around, our dedicated public affairs team is handling multiple studies, with new ones starting and existing ones finishing almost daily. There may be new breaking story, a debate scheduled or even a controversial tweet sent out, so there is a constant demand to respond to the 24/7 news cycle. New questions are added and removed and polled as needed to stay on top of trends and hot topics.
During this period, our various departments work in unison to ensure we meet both the quick turnaround time and deliver quality data to our clients. Advanced communication is key and allows our field operations team to adjust scheduling to accommodate changing timelines when project field dates move around. This constant juggling act is a hallmark of the period and inevitably also requires our data and programming teams to adjust resource allocation. These political projects all require a nightly data export to the client so there is typically an evening and weekend support team on hand to handle any issues that come up. Much like the election news cycle itself, there is a “24/7” element to the work that is required with team members contributing to after hours support to address any client or internal field queries during the project cycle. From a project mangers perspective, successfully navigating through this period requires anticipating challenges and taking decisive action to ensure projects are running on budget and crucially for the client, finishing on time.
Sampling is also key to successfully predicting results with extreme accuracy. Sampling accuracy is achieved by ensuring the demographic makeup of your respondents match the universe of registered voters, as well as screening appropriately for those who will actually go out and vote. Voter history is important in creating these likely voter algorithms. When fielded successfully, your results are more likely to be accurate. And with such high stakes, accuracy is your benchmark of success when the votes are finally tallied on Election Day and the results come in!
About Clare Harrigan, Account Manager
Clare Harrigan is an Account Manager with The Logit Group and has been with us since 2005. She has personally managed hundreds of research studies using different methodologies, including large scale CATI/CAWI projects and tracking studies with complex sampling and quota structures, both Consumer and B2B and at the global, national and local level.