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VOL. 40 | NO. 36 | Friday, September 2, 2016

Political polling costs

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Polling experts say a serious congressional candidate should be prepared to spend about $100,000 on a series of polls, starting with an early-year benchmark poll costing about $30,000 for a 20-minute survey and including 200 pages of statistics and analysis on issues and messages to set the campaign’s tone.

Trend polls done a few months later costing around $20,000 will let the candidate know whether their message is working in the context of the race and where to attack, if necessary. Three or more tracking polls costing around $10,000 each would be used next to see how demographic groups are responding and enable the candidate to tweak their messages.

Costs will vary based on the time of the survey, the number of samples taken and the experience of the pollster. But experts say it is crucial to find someone who knows what they’re doing and can spot trends ahead of the race so they can give their candidate a strong start.

-- Sam Stockard

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