Dornsife releases results of experimental online poll

The results of the experimental online Dornsife political poll were released Thursday, detailing Californians’ opinions on issues such as gasoline prices.

The poll queried respondents’ opinion on Republican nominees, budget deficit concerns and California ballot initiatives.

The poll is an experiment based on the success of the USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times Poll and was designed to provide more detailed feedback than a phone survey.

Though the poll found that 63 percent of respondents disagree with the way President Barack Obama handled increased gas prices, follow-up questioning revealed that only 13 percent blame him for causing the increase, as opposed to 21 percent blaming problems in the Middle East and 38 percent blaming oil companies.

Forty-seven percent of respondents said they favored Obama’s handling of the economy, while only 40 percent of respondents favored Obama’s immigration policies. In addition, the survey found that only 36 percent of respondents agreed with Obama’s handling of the budget deficit.

Dan Schnur, director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at USC and director of the USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times Poll, said that the online poll was a success.

“There’s no question that the future of public opinion research will be conducted over the Internet, and we’re looking forward to learning more about how these technologies can provide an even more in-depth and timely assessment of what Californians think about the issues that matter to them,” Schnur said.

Polling was conducted March 19 to 21. A total of 1,874 registered California voters were interviewed. The experiment’s goal was to determine the advantages and practicality of conducting political polls online.

Schnur said the results of the online survey can add depth to the extensive body of already collected data by the USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times Poll.

“This important experiment in conducting public opinion polling online will help us provide even more information about California voters and the future of the state,” Schnur said. “We are excited to partner on this opportunity to explore how polling can more closely capture voter sentiment, and we fully expect that people will be watching us closely to learn from our experiences.”