Methodology for AP poll on health care

AP News
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Posted: Nov 16, 2009 6:06 AM

The Associated Press poll on health care, by Stanford University with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, was conducted by GfK Roper Public Affairs & Media from Oct. 29-Nov. 8. It is based on landline and cell phone telephone interviews with a nationally representative random sample of 1,502 adults. Interviews were conducted with 1,052 respondents on landline telephones and 450 on cellular phones.

Digits in the phone numbers dialed were generated randomly to reach households with unlisted and listed landline and cell phone numbers.

Interviews were conducted in both English and Spanish.

As is done routinely in surveys, results were weighted, or adjusted, to ensure that responses accurately reflect the population's makeup by factors such as age, sex, education and race. In addition, the weighting took into account patterns of phone use _ landline only, cell only and both types _ by region.

No more than one time in 20 should chance variations in the sample cause the results to vary by more than plus or minus 2.5 percentage points from the answers that would be obtained if all adults in the U.S. were polled.

There are other sources of potential error in polls, including the wording and order of questions.

The poll was conducted with supervision by AP's polling unit. Stanford University's participation in the project was made possible by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a nonpartisan organization that conducts research on health care.

The questions and results for this poll are available at http://surveys.ap.org and at http://rwjf.org.