Public Opinion Research

Public Opinion Research involves surveying the public, or a portion of the public, about a service or about issues related to public policy.

We (as Essential Surveys and as The Field Company) have conducted a large number of these studies over the years. Clients have included local government jurisdictions, councils of government organizations, educational institutions, library districts, parks & recreation departments, conservation districts, transportation authorities, economic development agencies, and other organizations that serve the public.

Some of the ways public opinion research is used are:

  • To gather public input for policy formation on issues like land use, the environment, or transportation
  • To collect demographic and lifestyle data for planning purposes
  • To understand public opinion and attitudes related to funding levies or ballot initiatives
  • To understand how the public uses a service or would use a service if offered
  • As a public involvement tool in order to engage the public on an issue
  • To perform a needs assessment or social inventory
  • To measure performance of governments or agencies

Both businesses and public sector organizations may use public opinion research to assess public attitudes and measure behaviors related to the environment, health care, education, or charitable giving. They may also want to survey the public in order to gage support or opposition to a new business venture or planned property development, or to assess project feasibility.