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ISPU American Muslim Poll, 2020




Mogahed, D., & Ikramullah, E. (2023, May 23). ISPU American Muslim Poll, 2020.


SSRS conducted a survey of Muslims, Jews, and the general population for the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding from March 17 through April 22, 2020. The study investigated the opinions of Muslims, Jews, and the general population regarding politics, important issues facing the country, faith customs, and religious discrimination.

For the survey, SSRS interviewed 801 Muslim respondents, 351 Jewish respondents, and 1,015 general population adult respondents. A total of 2,167 respondents were surveyed.

The ARDA has added four additional variables to the original data set to enhance the users' experience on our site.

Data File

Cases: 2167
Variables: 130
Weight Variable: WEIGHT

Data Collection

March 17, 2020 to April 22, 2020

Original Survey (Instrument)

ISPU American Muslim Poll 2020

Funded By

Institute for Social Policy and Understanding

Collection Procedures

The 2020 American Muslim Poll was pretested between March 10 and March 11, 2020. A total of 20 interviews were collected, including four with Muslim respondents, five with Jewish respondents, and 11 with general population respondents. As a result of the pretesting, SSRS recommended a few changes to the survey instruments that were implemented prior to the fielding of the survey on March 17, 2020.

The field period for this study was between March 17 and April 22, 2020. CATI interviews were conducted with 793 respondents and 1,374 respondents completed a web survey. Complete dispositions of all call attempts were recorded for CATI respondents.

CATI interviewers received written materials about the survey instrument and formal training for this project. The written materials were provided prior to the beginning of the field period and included an annotated questionnaire that contained information about the goals of the study, as well as detailed explanations as to why questions were being asked, the meaning and pronunciation of key terms, potential obstacles to be overcome in getting good answers to questions, and respondent problems that could be anticipated ahead of time, as well as strategies for addressing the potential problems. Due to the sensitive nature of some of the questions, interviewers were given specific instructions on how to cope with respondents who seemed agitated or distressed by the questions.

Interviewer training was conducted immediately before the survey was fielded. Call center supervisors and interviewers reviewed each question from the questionnaire. Interviewers were given instructions to help them maximize response rates and ensure accurate data collection.

To maximize survey response, SSRS enacted the following procedures during the field period: (1) an average of seven follow-up attempts were made to contact non-responsive numbers, (2) each non-responsive number was contacted multiple times, varying the times of day, and the days of the week that call-backs were placed using a programmed differential call rule, (3) interviewers explained the purpose of the study and, when asked, stated as accurately as possible the expected length of the interview, (4) respondents were offered the option of scheduling a call-back at their convenience, and (5) specially trained interviewers contacted respondents who had initially refused to participate in the survey and attempted to convert them into completed interviews.

Sampling Procedures

The target population for the Muslim and Jewish portion of the study was specified as people who identify their religion as either Muslim or Jewish. For landline respondents, if the person who answered the phone was neither Muslim nor Jewish, we asked if anyone in the household considered him or herself to be a different religion than the respondent and, if so, what religion that would be. If another household member was Jewish or Muslim, we then asked to speak with that person. If no person in the household fit the religion criteria, we terminated the interview. Any cell phone respondent who was not Muslim or Jewish was immediately screened out of the survey since cell phone respondents are considered individual households for the purposes of the selection process.

The target population for the general population portion of the study was specified as all U.S. adults, age 18+. Religion was not a factor for the general population survey, other than the oversamples of Catholic and white evangelicals discussed above. For those general population completes obtained by phone, qualified respondents also had to not use and not have access to the Internet.

The sampling procedures were designed to efficiently reach the target populations of interest. These procedures were: (1) SSRS pulled sample prescreened as Muslim households from the years 2013-2020 of its weekly national omnibus survey to re-contact for this study, (2) SSRS pulled sample prescreened as Jewish households from the years 2017-2020 of its weekly
national omnibus survey to re-contact for this study, (3) SSRS purchased listed sample in both landline and cell phone frames, and the landline sample was purchased from Experian and the cell phone sample was purchased from Smart Cell (Experian and Smart Cell are sample providers with specific characteristics flagged for each piece of sample; Experian and Smart Cell provided sample with flags for Muslim households), (4) in order to supplement the number of Muslim interviews that were needed, SSRS employed a web panel and completed 441 Muslim interviews via an online survey with sample from a non-probability panel, (5) SSRS used sample from their probability-based web panel to administer the general population portion of the survey, (6) SSRS interviewed 82 non-Internet respondents by telephone.

In total, 468 interviews were completed via cell phones, 325 via landline phones, and 1,374 via web survey.

Principal Investigators

Dalia Mogahed, Report Co-Author
Erum Ikramullah, Report Co-Author

Related Publications

For a detailed report, please visit ISPU's website.

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