Survey Sample Designed With Great Care, Says Pew’s Stokes After Modi Wins Overwhelming Support
Survey Sample Designed With Great Care, Says Pew’s Stokes After Modi Wins Overwhelming SupportPrime Minister Narendra Modi has been widely backed in the survey. (Arun Sharma/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

In an interview with Subhomoy Bhattacharjee, Bruce Stokes, director of Global Economic Attitudes at the Pew Research Centre in Washington, answered several questions about the results of a recent Pew survey. The survey gave an 88 per cent approval rating to Prime Minister Narendra Modi across the country, and has since been the target of scrutiny by the opposition parties. Stokes took on the questions regarding the survey’s legitimacy and has emphatically backed the results.

On the timing of the survey results, coming a month before the Gujarat elections –  hence generating positive momentum for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) – Stokes said India has several state elections scheduled through out the year, so it’s indeed difficult to time a survey or it’s results.

On the question of the survey being conducted before the goods and services tax regime was implemented, Stokes said that the questions in the survey were wide in scope, including a lot of demonetisation, and were worded carefully enough so the impact was minimal. Also, the survey being carried out face-to-face in India ensures that the sample’s sentiment is captured correctly, he said.

However, the biggest criticism that the survey had to face was its sample size. A total of 2,464 participants had been surveyed and those unhappy with the results claimed that the sample doesn’t represent the 1.2 billion Indian population. Stokes refuted such claims and pointed to care taken in drawing up the sample, which takes into account state, language, age and several other factors before choosing a participant. Notably, in a survey conducted over a similar sample before the 2014 general election, Pew was able to correctly gauge the mood of the nation as was later evident from the election results.

Stokes also highlighted that Pew employs local partners with the survey being conducted in eight different languages. He said a system of checks and balances was put in place to rule out anomalies in the methodology, expressing optimism about Pew’s future projects in India.

An Appeal...

Dear Reader,

As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.

Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.

We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.

Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.

Become A Patron
Become A Subscriber