Center for Survey Research

Penn State Harrisburg, Center for Survey Research

The Penn State Poll: An Omnibus Poll of Pennsylvania

All interviewing is conducted with Voxco computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI) software in the Center for Survey Research’s offices at Penn State Harrisburg.  The CATI system accommodates 20 concurrent interviewers in addition to quality control supervisors assisted by Voxco’s monitoring and productivity tools.  Our telephone interviewing team has completed human-subjects as well as classroom and hands-on data collection training.

Hours for interviewing for the Penn State Poll are Monday through Thursday from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and Sundays from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

The Penn State Poll uses a dual-frame sampling approach consisting of a representative landline sample and a cell phone supplement.  State-level estimates indicate that 35.2% of Pennsylvania households are cell phone-only and that 16.5% receive all or almost all calls on cell phones despite having a landline phone in the home1; therefore, at least 50% of the interviews are completed with a respondent on their cell phone.  Including cell phone sample is important to assist with reaching young adults (18-34 years), renters, non-whites, Hispanics, and individuals with lower incomes as compared to individuals with landlines2.  

The final dataset includes cases from at least 600 adult Pennsylvanian residents; the margin of error for this survey is plus or minus 4.0% with the conventional 95% degree of desired confidence.  Data are weighted as a function of each respondent’s age and sex; weighting is utilized to better represent the population as a whole for certain groups who were over- or under-represented in the survey’s final dataset.  

The Center adheres to the American Association for Public Opinion’s (AAPOR) Code of Professional Ethics and Practices for all research services.

1Blumberg SJ, Ganesh N. Wireless substitution: Early release of state-level estimates from the National Health Interview Survey, 2011-2015. NORC at the University of Chicago and the National Center for Health Statistics. August 2016.  Available from:

 2Lavrakas, PJ, Blumberg, S, Battaglia, M, et al. New Considerations for Survey Researchers When Planning and Conducting RDD Telephone Surveys in the U.S. with Respondents Reached via Cell Phone Numbers. Deerfield, IL: American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) Cell Phone Task Force. 2010. Available from: