Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling

Rutgers-Eagleton Poll:
Listing of current and
past polls

Government and
Non-Profit Agencies:
Put ECPIP to
Work for You !

Over 30 years of New Jersey polls are
available in a searchable database.

Click here for Archive

Past Star-Ledger/


Training and Education

As part of New Jersey's public research university, Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling considers education a core value. As such, we make all our non-proprietary polling information available to researchers and other interested citizens. Through a joint effort with the Scholarly Communications Center at Rutgers, Eagleton has established an on-line searchable archive of its New Jersey media polls.

Training opportunities at ECPIP include research assistantships and internships for students in the social sciences and public policy fields. Many former students have followed career paths in survey research, including the current President of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR). Other former staff have become key consultants in state government and private industry.

ECPIP staff have also written articles for scholarly journals and mass media, presented papers at professional conferences, and given presentations on the proper use of survey research to government officials, university research classes, and business associations.

For Students

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For those interested in careers in survey research, the American Association for Public Opinion Research publishes a booklet listing career information in this field.

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Staff Presentations and Publications

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How to Assess a Poll’s Validity

There are no cut-and-dried answers to what makes a poll “valid.”

All public reports of survey findings should include reference to the following:

  • Sponsorship of the survey
  • Dates of interviewing
  • Method of obtaining the interviews (in-person, telephone or mail)
  • Population that was sampled
  • Size of the sample
  • Size and description of the sub-sample if the survey report relies primarily on less than the total sample
  • Complete wording of questions upon which the release is based
  • The percentages upon which conclusions are based
Key things to look for are:
  • sample
  • size and corresponding margin of error (be cautious of results when the margin of error exceeds 5 or 6 points);
  • whether the sample was scientifically chosen or whether respondents were self-selected (which is typical of “900” call-in polls and many web-site polls); and
  • the wording and order of the questions (look for questions that seem to “push” the respondent to an answer by describing some options more attractively than others).

More information is available in the short publication “Twenty Questions A Journalist Should Ask About Poll Results” by Sheldon Gawiser and G. Evans Witt. It is available on-line from the National Council on Public Polls.

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