The appropriate methodology for any public opinion survey is dependent upon the survey objective and needs of the client. Scott Rasmussen relies primarily upon online survey techniques to conduct his surveys. However, in some instances, the online research is supplemented by automated phone polling approaches.
There are two basic approaches to selecting respondents for online surveys. One is to randomly contact participants from a comprehensive panel of potential participants. The other is to randomly contact participants from an appropriate list (i.e.—voters or customers). Again, the appropriate approach depends upon the needs of the client.
Automated phone polling interviews are made exclusively from appropriate lists and only land line phones are contacted. Such calls generally reach an older and more rural audience than is representative of the population at large. However, in some circumstances, this can be useful to offset the fact that online surveys find it easier to reach younger and more urban participants.
In all surveys conducted by Scott Rasmussen, certain quotas are applied to insure adequate representation of diverse demographic and geographic populations. The final results are lightly weighted by gender, age, race, and political party to reasonably reflect the population being studied. Other variables are frequently reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.