David Sterrett is a Senior Research Scientist in The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. Sterrett is a political scientist whose research focuses on political attitudes, survey methodology, and the public’s news habits. He has significant experience designing and managing complex multi-mode surveys and combining quantitative research findings with in-depth qualitative interviews.
Sterrett has helped lead a wide range of public affairs research projects at NORC. Since 2015, he has served as a manager for the Media Insight Project, a collaboration between the American Press Institute and The AP-NORC Center. The research has examined a range of issues related to news habits and attitudes such as what leads the public to trust news and what factors are associated with paying for news.
Sterrett helped develop and oversee the multi-mode methodology for AP VoteCast, a new approach to understanding the American electorate that combines a probability sample of registered voters with a large opt-in sample of registered voters.
He has also managed a number of projects featuring collaborations with academic researchers such as the UChicago Harris/AP-NORC Poll, a study on democratic representation with researchers from Stanford University and the University of California, Santa Barbara, and the 2016 GenForward surveys of adults 18-30 years old that were a project of the Black Youth Project at the University of Chicago.
Sterrett has published scholarly work in multiple peer-reviewed journals and has expertise in synthesizing complex social science research so that it is easily accessible for journalists and the public. He frequently presents at academic and survey research conferences, and is actively involved with both AAPOR and MAPOR.
Prior to joining NORC, he spent four years conducting survey research at the University of Illinois at Chicago and five years working as a journalist in Chicago and San Diego.