October 1, 2009

Support for Abortion Slips

About the Survey

Results for this survey are based on telephone interviews conducted under the direction of Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a nationwide sample of 4,013 adults, 18 years of age or older. Interviews were conducted in two waves, the first from August 11-17, 2009 (Survey A) and the second from August 20-27, 2009 (Survey B). In total, 3,012 respondents were interviewed on a landline telephone, and 1,001 were interviewed on a cell phone, including 347 who had no landline telephone. Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish. Both the landline and cell phone samples were provided by Survey Sampling International. For detailed information about our survey methodology, see http://people-press.org/methodology/.

The combined landline and cell phone sample is weighted using an iterative technique that matches gender, age, education, race/ethnicity, region, and population density to parameters from the March 2008 Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey. The sample is also weighted to match current patterns of telephone status and relative usage of landline and cell phones (for those with both), based on extrapolations from the 2008 National Health Interview Survey. The weighting procedure also accounts for the fact that respondents with both landline and cell phones have a greater probability of being included in the sample.

The following table shows the error attributable to sampling that would be expected at the 95% level of confidence for different groups in the survey. The topline survey results included at the end of this report clearly indicate whether each question in the survey was asked of the full sample, Survey A only or Survey B only.

Methodology table

In addition to sampling error, one should bear in mind that question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of opinion polls.

About the Projects

This survey is a joint effort of the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press and the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. Both organizations are sponsored by the Pew Charitable Trusts and are projects of the Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan “fact tank” that provides information on the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world.

The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press is an independent opinion research group that studies attitudes toward the press, politics and public policy issues. The Center’s purpose is to serve as a forum for ideas on the media and public policy through public opinion research. In this role it serves as an important information resource for political leaders, journalists, scholars, and public interest organizations. All of the Center’s current survey results are made available free of charge.

The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life seeks to promote a deeper understanding of issues at the intersection of religion and public affairs. It studies public opinion, demographics and other important aspects of religion and public life in the U.S. and around the world. It also provides a neutral venue for discussions of timely issues through roundtables and briefings.

This report is a collaborative product based on the input and analysis of the following individuals:

Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life
Luis Lugo, Director
Alan Cooperman, Sandra Stencel, Associate Directors
John C. Green, Gregory Smith, Senior Researchers
Allison Pond, Neha Sahgal, Research Associates
Scott Clement, Research Analyst
Tracy Miller, Sara Tisdale, Editors

Pew Research Center for the People & the Press
Andrew Kohut, Director
Scott Keeter, Director of Survey Research
Carroll Doherty, Michael Dimock, Associate Directors
Michael Remez, Senior Writer
Juliana Menasce Horowitz, Robert Suls, Shawn Neidorf, Leah Melani Christian, Jocelyn Kiley, Kathleen Holzwart, Research Associates
Alec Tyson, Jacob Poushter, Research Analysts

© Pew Research Center, 2009