AP VoteCast is a survey of the American electorate conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago for The Associated Press and Fox News. Developed by The Associated Press and NORC at the University of Chicago, AP VoteCast is a new way to survey voters. The Associated Press and Fox News, among other news outlets, use the data to explain election outcomes and the mood of the electorate in their election night coverage. VoteCast debuted for the 2018 midterm elections after years of testing and development and was used again for the 2020 Democratic primaries, 2020 presidential election, 2020 special Senate elections in Georgia, 2021 gubernatorial election in Virginia, and 2022 midterm elections.
Since the 1960s, media organizations have used exit polls to tell the story of elections, to better understand which populations are voting for which candidates and policies, and to serve as a hub in the U.S. decentralized election system for synthesizing information and insights for the public. The original methodology for exit polls involved in-person interviews as voters left polling places. This method has remained fundamentally unchanged even as elections have seen significant changes in the way people vote. For example, in 2022 about half of all ballots were cast early, absentee, or by mail.
VoteCast was designed by NORC at the University of Chicago and The Associated Press to overcome these challenges and provide a new approach to understanding elections. Using a random, probability-based sample of registered voters to carefully calibrate a very large sample from opt-in, online panels, VoteCast delivers the best of both methods – the accuracy of probability-based surveys combined with the scale provided by an opt-in survey that interviews tens of thousands of people quickly. Because VoteCast is not based on in-person interviews at the polling booth, the adaptive methodology meets voters where they are and accurately captures voter sentiment no matter how people choose to vote. It provides results in every state holding a statewide election, which means VoteCast delivers a broader portrait of the American electorate than any other election survey.
The Associated Press and NORC are committed to transparency of VoteCast’s methods and results, as well as continual improvement of the VoteCast methodology.
For links to all VoteCast election studies, including their public use data files, please click here: https://apnorc.org/projects/ap-votecast-puf