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date: 24 March 2017

Abstract and Keywords

Using the example of Ohio and its media markets, this chapter discusses the geographic distribution of respondents resulting from alternative sampling schemes. Traditional survey research designs for gathering information on voter attitudes and behavior usually ignore variability in context in favor of representation of a target population. When sample sizes are large, these polls also provide reasonably accurate estimates for focal subgroups of the electoral population. As the examples here show, conventional polls frequently lack the variations in geographic context likely to matter most to understanding social environments and the interdependence among voters, limiting variation on such continua as urban and rural, economic equality and inequality, occupational differences, exposure to physical environmental conditions, and a variety of other factors that exhibit spatial variation. The chapter calls for more surveys that represent exposure to a broader range of social and physical environments than researchers have produced up to now.

Keywords: survey research, sampling schemes, sample size, polls, Ohio, social environments, voters

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