The TIME / Survey Monkey Poll Results and Methodology

4 minute read

For this week’s issue, TIME and Survey Monkey conducted a poll of registered voters to find out there views on policy issues and the upcoming election.

The online tracking poll of 5,478 registered voters taken Sept. 28-29 found that most voters are unhappy with the current state of the country and disappointed with their choices this November, but on key issues they narrowly favor Hillary Clinton. Read more on the results here.

The questions and topline follow below.

Have the policies of President Barack Obama…

Made life harder for you and your family 38%

Had no real effect on life for you and your family 30%

Improved life for you and your family 30%

No Answer 1%

How comfortable do you feel sharing your vote preference for this year’s presidential election with your friends and family?

Very comfortable 63%

Somewhat comfortable 21%

Somewhat uncomfortable 8%

Very uncomfortable 7%

No Answer 1%

Which of the following emotions do you feel about this year’s presidential election? (Select all that apply.)

Disappointed 48%

Scared 46%

Sad 23%

Excited 15%

Satisfied 9%

I don’t care that much 4%

No Answer 1%

What do you think the TOP THREE PRIORITIES should be for the next president? (Select up to 3)

Economy and jobs 61%

Terrorism and national security 58%

Health care 38%

Immigration 28%

Budget deficit 22%

Gun control 21%

Social Security 19%

Climate change 15%

Government regulation 12%

Energy policy 7%

Other (please specify) 6%

Abortion 3%

No Answer 1%

Do you think this country is overall …

Making progress 26%

Stagnating 27%

Falling behind 46%

No Answer 1%

Which statement comes closer to your view about US involvement in the global economy, even if neither is exactly right?

It is a good thing because it provides the US with new markets and opportunities for growth 54%

It is a bad thing because it lowers wages and costs jobs in the US 43%

No Answer 4%

How much do you think the outcome of the presidential election will affect your personal economic situation?

A lot 40%

Some 39%

Only a little 13%

Not at all 7%

No Answer 1%

How much do you think the outcome of the presidential election will affect your personal safety and security?

A lot 50%

Some 31%

Only a little 10%

Not at all 7%

No Answer 1%

Which candidate has done the better job explaining their policy positions to voters?

Hillary Clinton 46%

Neither 30%

Donald Trump 23%

No Answer 1%

Whom do you trust more when it comes to dealing with the threat of ISIS and international terrorism?

Hillary Clinton 40%

Donald Trump 38%

Neither 20%

No Answer 1%

Whom do you trust more when it comes to ethics in government?

Hillary Clinton 37%

Donald Trump 32%

Neither 29%

No Answer 1%

Whom do you trust more when it comes to immigration policy?

Hillary Clinton 42%

Donald Trump 39%

Neither 17%

No Answer 2%


This TIME Magazine/SurveyMonkey Election Tracking survey was conducted online September 28-29, 2016 in English and Spanish among a national sample of 5,478 adults who say they are registered to vote. Respondents for this survey were selected from the nearly three million people who take surveys on the SurveyMonkey platform each day. Data for this week have been weighted for age, race, sex, education, geography, and voter registration status using the CensusBureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Current Population Survey to reflect the demographic composition of the United States. An additional smoothing parameter for ideology based on previous Election Tracking interviews is included.

Because the sample is based on those who initially self-selected for participation rather than a probability sample, no estimates of sampling error can be calculated. All surveys may be subject to multiple sources of error, including, but not limited to sampling error, coverage error, and measurement error. To assess the variability in the estimates and account for design effects, we create a bootstrap confidence interval to produce an error estimate. The bootstrap confidence interval for this survey is plus or minus 2 percentage points for registered voters.

To calculate the bootstrap confidence interval we use the weighted data to generate 1000 independent samples and calculate the 95% confidence intervals for the weighted average. When analyzing the survey results and their accuracy, this error estimate should be taken into consideration in much the same way that analysis of probability polls takes into account the margin of sampling error. For example, if 47 percent of voters say they support Candidate A and 43 percent of voters support Candidate B, and the error estimate is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points, Candidate A could be supported by as low as 44 percent of voters and Candidate B could have as high as 47 percent of support. Therefore, Candidate A does not have a “lead.”

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