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Potomac Survey Research was commissioned by WJLA and WTOP to conduct a telephone survey on issues and politics among likely voting Democratic primary voters in the District of Columbia.

The survey instrument was designed to measure:

•  Job approval for President Bush and Mayor Williams
•  Sentiment regarding a possible recall of the mayor
•  Most important challenge facing the nation
•  Basic view of the economy
•  A sense of priority of domestic issues vs. Iraq
•  Worries about terrorism and view of the war on terrorism
•  The Democratic primary horse race for president
•  View of the early D.C. primary
•  Satisfaction with the candidates running
•  Electability of the candidates
•  The specter of Hillary getting into the race

Methodological Overview
Potomac Survey Research completed a total of 500 telephone interviews, November 21-23, 2003, among a random sampling of likely voters in the upcoming D.C. Democratic presidential primary. According to customary statistical standards, this sample produces a margin of error of no more than ± 4.5% at a 95% confidence level. This means that, 95 percent of the time, the “true” figure would fall within this range if every likely Democratic primary voter in the District had been interviewed. For smaller subgroups of the overall sample, the potential sampling error is larger.

Strict ward and gender quotas were adhered to throughout the interviewing process to reflect the proper distribution of the primary electorate. Sampling quotas were established based on the makeup of the registered voter population, and a composite of the turnout by ward in the past four D.C. Democratic primary elections. Weighting of the survey sample was not employed.

Margin of sampling error is only one of many potential sources of error in this or any other public opinion survey. The practical difficulties of conducting any survey of public opinion introduce other sources of error into the study. Variations in question wording or the order of the questions, for instance, can lead to somewhat different results.

The specific sampling and interviewing techniques are described in detail below.

The survey sample was drawn from a commercially available list of registered voters, matched with telephone numbers. A total of 15,000 voters were randomly selected as the eligible pool for the final sample of 500 interviews. The file was phone matched twice, by two separate vendors, in order to achieve the very highest telephone penetration possible.

The use of such a voter file is preferred because it contains actual voter history for previous elections, thus allowing the researchers to identify and target those individuals who are most likely to vote in the future. It also ensures the exclusion from the survey sample of residents who are not registered to vote.

Voters were selected for the survey sample only if they had:

•  Participated in the primary election held in 2000; or
•  Registered to vote after the 2000 primary election.

Once contacted, these proven primary voters were further screened to ensure they intended to vote on January 13, 2004. Eighty-two percent of those contacted said they were either “absolutely certain to vote” or “probably will vote” and were admitted to the survey sample. Of those, 81% said they were absolutely certain to vote.

Telephone Interviewing
A staff of professionally-trained and supervised callers completed the telephone interviews from our subcontractor's call center in Logan, Utah. Calls were made between 5:00 and 9:30 p.m. Friday, 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Saturday, and 1:00 and 6:00 p.m. Sunday, Eastern time. The survey length averaged approximately 6.5 minutes.

2003 Maryland Poll Methodology Information
Potomac Survey Research
Contact: Steve Raabe

Detailed Findings *

Survey Questionnaire *

For additional coverage, please see related news stories at wtopnews.com and wjla.com

* If you do not have the Adobe Acrobat reader installed on your computer, please click the link below:

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