Posts by Brent

Thanks, FiveThirtyEight, for the #2 Ranking

Every year, Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight releases its Pollster Ratings. As he recently opined, “Polls just had one of their best election cycles, ever — but challenges abound in the industry…” We agree! (And it’s not just because Cygnal was ranked the #1 most-accurate private pollster, we promise…) What excites us more is the fact that […]

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How SMS Responses to Surveys Differ from Phones

In hundreds of conversations with consultants, committees, caucuses, and even voters, not a single person has said, “Oh, yeah, telephone calls are the future of polling.” Cygnal has spent the last 19 months scientifically testing the use of peer-to-peer text messaging as a tool for inviting voters to participate in a political survey. Heck, we […]

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How to Reach Low-Propensity Voters for Polling

With iOS 13, Apple gave iPhone users the ability to send all unknown numbers instantly to voicemail. Many Android devices have this same option. Add this to all the people who ignore numbers they don’t recognize, and non-response bias continues to soar. For pollsters who rely 100% on telephone calls to field their surveys, this […]

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Polling Is Changing (aka How to Go Beyond Phones)

The accepted norm in polling is now higher costs as fewer people are willing to pick up their phone – even their cell phone – and talk to a stranger on the other end of an unfamiliar number. Even so,it is still very possible to get good samples of voters via live phone calls if […]

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Multi-Mode Survey Nails Kentucky GOP Primary Results

So I was wrong. We listened to what everyone else was seeing in the field and adjusted our Kentucky Republican primary turnout model, which we should not have done. Our original multi-mode survey results were 0.4% from where Governor Matt Bevin ended up with on primary election day. I think it was Mark Twain who […]

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Campaigns Have Companies Beat When Using Research for Strategic Decisions

Every campaign we talk to wants to know what innovations corporations are exploring in opinion and survey research. Likewise, companies and associations are eager to hear what new polling techniques were implemented last election cycle.   Since we work for clients in both the political and corporate research markets, we get to see the best – […]

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Why the New York Times Named Us the Most Accurate Pollster in the Country

The 2018 midterm elections were historic in many ways (read our synopsis), but there’s one special way they were historic specifically for our firm.  Nate Cohn of The Upshot / New York Times ranked for accuracy all pollsters with public surveys in the final three weeks of the elections.  Cygnal led the group as the […]

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A Note of Thanksgiving from the Cygnal Team

Alright, Christmas lovers. Let’s not rush too fast to your (awesome) season. Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Giving gifts makes us feel good, but let’s remember that giving thanks makes us good. It is impossible to have negative feelings or emotions when you’re showing gratitude. We all have plenty to be thankful for, as we did last year. […]

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What the 2018 Midterm Elections Mean

Historic. That pretty much sums up the 2018 midterm elections. We crossed – and crushed – the 100 million votes barrier for a midterm, ending up somewhere in the realm of 114 million votes cast. As a percentage of registration, it may end up being the highest midterm turnout on record, approaching presidential turnout in […]

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Public Polling Deep-Dive in Georgia and Ohio

It’s always interesting to see where late-deciders break in an election or who else shows up. Looking at Georgia and Ohio, two states we polled ten days before the elections, something stood out to me. Both states had extremely close governor’s races in our polls (2.2 points in Georgia and .2 points in Ohio), and […]

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