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Religion and Politics Survey, November 2011




The November 2011 Religion and Politics Survey, sponsored by the Pew Research Center, obtained telephone interviews with a nationally representative sample of 2,001 adults living in the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii. The survey focused on Americans' views of Barack Obama and the major Republican presidential candidates. Items also included views on global warming, the death penalty, abortion, and Mormonism, as well as several measures of respondents' religious and political preferences and behavior.

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

Data File

Cases: 2001
Variables: 156

LLWEIGHT is applied to the landline random digit dialing (RDD) sample only. COWEIGHT is the weight for the landline RDD sample and the cell-only cases combined; cases from the cell phone RDD sample that reported having a landline phone are excluded. WEIGHT is the weight for the combined sample of all landline and cell phone interviews.

Data Collection

November 9-15, 2011

Funded By

Pew Research Center for the People & the Press

Collection Procedures

The November 2011 Religion and Politics Survey, sponsored by the Pew Research Center, obtained telephone interviews with a nationally representative sample of 2,001 adults living in the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii. Interviews were conducted via landline (n=1,200) and cell phone (n=801, including 397 without a landline phone). The survey was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International. The interviews were administered in English and Spanish by Princeton Data Source from November 9-15, 2011. Statistical results are weighted to correct known demographic discrepancies. The margin of sampling error for the complete set of weighted data is +/-2.5 percentage points.

Interviews were conducted from November 9-15, 2011. As many as seven attempts were made to contact every sampled telephone number. Sample was released for interviewing in replicates, which are representative subsamples of the larger sample. Using replicates to control the release of sample ensures that complete call procedures are followed for the entire sample. Calls were staggered over times of day and days of the week to maximize the chance of making contact with potential respondents. Interviewing was spread as evenly as possible across the days in field. Each telephone number was called at least one time during the day in an attempt to complete an interview. For the landline sample, interviewers asked to speak with the youngest adult male or female currently at home based on a random rotation. If no male/female was available, interviewers asked to speak with the youngest adult of the other gender. This systematic respondent selection technique has been shown to produce samples that closely mirror the population in terms of age and gender when combined with cell interviewing. For the cellular sample, interviews were conducted with the person who answered the phone. Interviewers verified that the person was an adult and in a safe place before administering the survey. Cellular respondents were offered a post-paid cash reimbursement for their participation.

Sampling Procedures

A combination of landline and cellular random digit dial (RDD) samples was used to represent all adults in the United States who have access to either a landline or cellular telephone. Both samples were provided by Survey Sampling International, LLC (SSI) according to PSRAI specifications. Numbers for the landline sample were drawn with equal probabilities from active blocks (area code + exchange + two-digit block number) that contained three or more residential directory listings. The cellular sample was not list-assisted, but was drawn through a systematic sampling from dedicated wireless 100-blocks and shared service 100-blocks with no directory-listed landline numbers.

Principal Investigators

Pew Research Center for the People & the Press

Related Publications

The following reports were prepared using data from the November 2011 Religion and Politics Survey:

"Continued Majority Support for Death Penalty," January 6, 2012
"Illegal Immigration: Gaps Between and Within Parties," December 6, 2011
"Modest Rise in Number Saying There Is 'Solid Evidence' of Global Warming," December 1, 2011
"Romney's Mormon Faith Likely a Factor in Primaries, Not in a General Election," November 23, 2011
"Obama Job Approval Improves, GOP Contest Remains Fluid," November 17, 2011

Weighting and Analysis

The first stage of weighting corrected for different probabilities of selection associated with the number of adults in each household and each respondent's telephone usage patterns. This weighting also adjusts for the overlapping landline and cell sample frames and the relative sizes of each frame and each sample. The second stage of weighting balances sample demographics to population parameters. The sample is balanced by form to match national population parameters for sex, age, education, race, Hispanic origin, region (U.S. Census definitions), population density, and telephone usage. The Hispanic origin was split out based on nativity; U.S born and non-U.S. born. The white, non-Hispanic subgroup also is balanced on age, education and region. The basic weighting parameters came from a special analysis of the Census Bureau's 2010 Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC) that included all households in the United States. The population density parameter was derived from Census 2000 data. The cell phone usage parameter came from an analysis of the July-December 2010 National Health Interview Survey. Weighting was accomplished using Sample Balancing, a special iterative sample weighting program that simultaneously balances the distributions of all variables using a statistical technique called the Deming Algorithm. Weights were trimmed to prevent individual interviews from having too much influence on the final results. The use of these weights in statistical analysis ensures that the demographic characteristics of the sample closely approximate the demographic characteristics of the national population.

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