Tomorrow night, President Barack Obama will deliver his State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress. Every major political event, but especially a presidential address, is always soon followed by a slew of polling information conducted by media outlets, analyst firms, and so on. We’ll hear news stories that tell us how the President performed, based on the opinion of sampling of a few hundred people.
We all know market research, and those polls can certainly be an accurate representation of public sentiment. But we also know that larger samples equal better data. That’s why I’m following the SurveyAnalytics State of the Union project. This project is a joint effort of SurveyAnalytics, SurveySwipe (a new mobile device research platform), Cooper Strategies, and UMass Amherst.
The project will leverage the SurveySwipe platform to collect response data from viewers using their mobile devices during the speech. It will then pair the data with text analysis collected from social media networks using the DiscoverText project created by UMass political science professor Stu Shulman. This represents a unique approach to collecting an enormous sample of response data across a real cross-section of audiences. I encourage you to participate; I’m excited to see the results!