Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: November 2012

This Kaiser Health Tracking Poll was designed and analyzed by public opinion researchers at the Kaiser Family Foundation led by Mollyann Brodie, Ph.D., including Claudia Deane, Sarah Cho, and Theresa Boston. The survey was conducted November 7-10, 2012, among a nationally representative random digit dial telephone sample of 1,223 adults ages 18 and older, living in the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii (note: persons without a telephone could not be included in the random selection process). Computer-assisted telephone interviews conducted by landline (708) and cell phone (515, including 274 who had no landline telephone) were carried out in English and Spanish by Braun Research, Inc. under the direction of Princeton Survey Research Associates International (PSRAI). Both the landline and cell phone samples were provided by Survey Sampling International, LLC. For the landline sample, respondents were selected by asking for the youngest adult male or female currently at home based on a random rotation. If no one of that gender was available, interviewers asked to speak with the youngest adult of the opposite gender. For the cell phone sample, interviews were conducted with the person who answered the phone.

The combined landline and cell phone sample was weighted to balance the sample demographics to match estimates for the national population data from the Census Bureau’s 2011 Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC) on sex, age, education, race, Hispanic origin, nativity (for Hispanics only), and region along with data from the Census on population density. The sample was also weighted to match current patterns of telephone use using data from the July-December 2011 National Health Interview Survey. The weight takes into account the fact that respondents with both a landline and cell phone have a higher probability of selection in the combined sample and also adjusts for the household size for the landline sample. All statistical tests of significance account for the effect of weighting. Weighted and unweighted values for key demographic variables are shown in the table below.

Sample Demographics
Unweighted Weighted
Male 48.2% 48.6%
Female 51.8% 51.4%
18-24 8.7% 12.4%
25-34 13.6% 17.8%
35-44 13.7% 16.7%
45-54 18.5% 18.8%
55-64 19.5% 15.7%
65+ 23.9% 17.0%
Less than HS Grad. 8.0% 12.5%
HS Grad. 25.4% 33.6%
Some College 24.6% 24.3%
College Grad. 40.1% 28.2%
White/not Hispanic 71.2% 66.4%
Black/not Hispanic 11.0% 11.2%
Hisp – US born 5.8% 6.5%
Hisp – born outside 4.0% 6.8%
Other/not Hispanic 5.1% 6.3%
Party Identification
Democrat 34.0% 33.9%
Independent 31.8% 32.3%
Republican 24.4% 22.8%
Other 4.9% 5.0%

The number of respondents and the margin of sampling error for key subgroups are presented in the table below. For results based on subgroups, the margin of sampling error may be higher. Sample sizes and margin of sampling errors for other subgroups are available by request. Note that sampling error is only one of many potential sources of error in this or any other public opinion poll.

Number of respondents Margin of sampling error
Total 1,223 ±3  percentage points
All voters 947 ±4 percentage points
Obama voters 452 ±5 percentage points
Romney voters 410 ±5 percentage points
Did not vote 276 ±6 percentage points

Note, the data was not weighted to the final popular vote numbers and as a result the reported vote number in Q3/Q4 does not exactly match the popular vote. In this survey, 70 percent of the public overall reported voting in the presidential election, which is much higher than the estimated 57.5 percent of the voting-eligible population that actually turned out to vote. Vote over-reporting is common in public opinion surveys. In this poll, 47 percent of voters reported voting for President Obama and 43 percent reported voting for Governor Romney. If these responses are re-calculated based on those who reported their vote for president, then 50 percent reported voting for President Obama and 45 percent for Governor Romney. This is reasonably close to the actual national vote count of about 50.5 percent Obama, 48 percent Romney.

The response rate calculated based on the American Association of Public Opinion Research’s Response Rate 3 formula was 13 percent for the landline sample and 11 percent for the cell phone sample.

November 2012 Tracking Poll Chartpack

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