The director of TAPS, in consultation with other scholars, established a battery of demographic and other questions that are asked of all panelists. In addition, a large set of recurring questions were asked about economic and political subjects.
Sampling Methodology and Recruitment
The sample of addresses was drawn from the U.S. Postal Service’s computerized delivery sequence file (CDSF). The CDSF covers some 97% of the physical addresses in all 50 states including P.O. boxes and rural route addresses. Homes that are vacant or seasonal are identified as are other categories that help to refine the efficiency of the sample to be mailed. Using data from available U.S. Census files plus from a variety of commercial data bases, such as White Pages, Experian, Acxiom, etc., MSG can add names to these addresses, match with landline telephone numbers, and—with some level of accuracy—tag on information regarding race/ethnicity, age of householder, whether there are people of a certain age in the household, presence of children, home ownership status, etc.
Based on recent experience with the recruitment of an online panel with the ABS frame, TAPS strata were designed to specifically break out young adults (ages 18-24) and Hispanics, in addition to the balance of the population. Young adults and Hispanics may be strategically oversampled because these groups have a tendency to under-respond to surveys. Four mutually exclusive strata were used:
- 18-24 year-old Hispanic adults
- All other Hispanic adults ages 25+ or age unknown
- 18-24 year-old non-Hispanic adults
- All other adults that are non-Hispanic or ethnicity unknown and ages 25+ or age unknown
- The estimated yield from each of the above strata was 5.6%, 6.4%, 14.4% and 9.4%, respectively.
- Within-household selection procedures vary by the mode in which the household responds to the initial contact.
- A successful recruitment was counted only when a Profile Survey is completed.