Release Date: 6/30/2014
The partisan divide between Republicans and Democrats is deeper than at any point in the last 25 years,
according to a new Pew Research Center nationwide survey of over 10,000 adults – the largest survey that
Pew Research Center has ever conducted. An integral component of the groundbreaking political polarization study is the new nationally representative probability-based online American Trends Panel, recruited and managed by Abt SRBI.
A total of 3,308 randomly selected adults participated in the first panel survey. The panel was recruited
from the initial nationally representative telephone survey of 10,013 conducted by Abt SRBI for Pew Research Center’s landmark survey. Panel participants will continue to be interviewed in monthly Pew Research Center surveys.
Nine in 10 panel interviews (90%) are conducted online. Panelists who do not have online access are
surveyed by telephone or mail to ensure that the panel represents all Americans, regardless of whether
they have access to the internet.
The American Trends Panel will yield many benefits, according to Scott Keeter, Pew Research Center’s Director of Survey Research.“It allows us to collect a great deal of additional information to go with the rich set of political questions already asked on the polarization survey. This will give us far more information about each panelist than we could reasonably expect to get in a single telephone interview,” he said.
A second benefit is that Pew Research Center can follow individual panelists over time and see how their current views might predict future behavior and whether their views change. For example, are the most polarized respondents less likely to change their party affiliation, or how they view the other party, than are people who are less polarized? In the 2014 general elections, how well will our measures of polarization help us
predict whether an individual will vote or not?
Since 90% of panelists participate online, Pew Research Center can show respondents photographs of political figures, logos of news organizations or charts and graphs of information, and thus gauge the impact of visual information on political attitudes.
“The American Trends Panel represents a breakthrough in our ability to identify the sources and track the
formation of public opinion,” noted Mark Schulman, Abt SRBI’s Research Chief. “Pew Research Center’s vision and high research standards, working with Abt SRBI, have created an invaluable research tool – a game changer – that will provide insights not possible before.”
The latest results from the Pew Research Center Polarization Study will be found at:
About Abt SRBI
Abt SRBI, a leading public policy and market research organization, is a subsidiary of Abt Associates, a
mission-driven, global leader in research and program implementation in the fields of health, social and
environmental policy, and international development. Abt SRBI is headquartered in New York City, with
offices in the Washington, D.C. area, Chicago, IL, Cambridge, MA, Fort Myers, FL, Durham, NC and
other cities. www.srbi.com