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Public Opinion Polls and Surveys

Online Public Opinion Poll Sources

Finding More Online Public Opinion Poll Sources

The online sources this page emphasizes offer free access to public opinion poll data to help students find poll data on specific topics and to assist those studying question design. How do you find more web sites like these?

  • National Council on Public Polls is an association of polling organizations; consult their list of members. (Some charge a fee or require a subscription for access to data).
  • Use an internet search engine such as Google; search for "public opinion polls".
  • Local polls can be sponsored by community organizations. If you find the name of a sponsoring organization (or that of the organization that actually conducted the survey) mentioned in a newspaper article or other secondary source, you may be able to find more complete results through the organization that sponsored the poll. As an example, the Economic Alliance of the San Fernando Valley sponsored several surveys of San Fernando Valley residents. While some of the results were in local newspapers, there is more data available as part of the Economic Alliance of the San Fernando Valley Virtual Library.

Newspaper Databases

In addition, you can find opinion polls in newspapers, many of which are available via subscription databases. Oviatt Library offers California State University, Northridge students, faculty, and staff online access to full-text newspapers via the Lexis-Nexis' Academic, Proquest Newspapers, and Ethnic Newswatch and Ethnic Newswatch: A History databases. Remember that many public opinion polls and/or surveys are paid for by various news agencies--newspapers or television, so it should not be a surprise when the information ends up included in news articles. The Historical Newspapers section of Databases by Subject: News + Current Issues lists full-text online older newspapers--such as ProQuest Historical Newspapers Los Angeles Times and ProQuest Historical Newspapers New York Times--that are available for California State University, Northridge students, faculty, and staff to use when older poll data is needed.

Print Sources of Public Opinion Polls

Use the Library Catalog to find print sources. Books on the subject are listed under "Public Opinion Polls", which is subdivided by geographic area. Some studies of social attitudes are listed under "Social Surveys" or "Public Opinion--[place]--Statistics", which are subdivided by geographic area. Examples include:

Some periodicals also include public opinion polls and discuss poll results. Examples include:
National Journal and Public Opinion Quarterly.

Created by Mary M. Finley