METHODOLOGY

The NBC News Online Poll was conducted online by SurveyMonkey October 13-15, 2015
among a national sample of 4,898 adults aged 18 and over. Respondents for this nonprobability survey were selected using an algorithm from among the nearly three million
people who take surveys on the SurveyMonkey platform each day.
Data for this survey have been weighted for age, race, sex, education, and region using the
Census Bureau’s American Community Survey to reflect the demographic composition of the
United States. Because the sample is based on those who initially self-selected for
participation rather than a probability sample, no estimates of sampling error can be
calculated. All surveys may be subject to multiple sources of error, including, but not limited
to sampling error, coverage error, and measurement error. Polls conducted in one day may
include additional error due to the limited time period that panelists have to respond to and
complete the survey.
To assess the variability in the estimates and account for design effects, we create a
bootstrap confidence interval to produce an error estimate, meaning we use the weighted
data to generate 5000 independent samples and calculate the 95% confidence intervals for
the weighted average.
When analyzing the survey results and their accuracy, this error estimate should be taken
into consideration in much the same way that analysis of probability polls takes into
account the margin of sampling error. For example, if 47 percent of voters say they support
Candidate A and 43 percent of voters support Candidate B, and the error estimate is plus or
minus 3.5 percentage points, Candidate A could be supported by as low as 44 percent of
voters and Candidate B could have as high as 47 percent of support. Therefore, Candidate A
does not have a "lead."
The following table provides the unweighted sample sizes and the error estimate that has
been calculated in place of the margin of sampling error for a variable that is expected to
have close to an even split in most groupings (such as gender):
Group
Total sample

Unweighted N
4,898

Plus or minus
percentage points

Republican RVs
Democrat RVs

1,881
1,857

3.2 percentage points
3.2 percentage points

18-29
30-44
45-64
65+

725
1031
2276
866

4.9 percentage points
4.4 percentage points
2.9 percentage points
4.6 percentage points

White
Black
Hispanic
Other

3,839
353
267
120

1.5 percentage points
6.5 percentage points
7.7 percentage points
13.3 percentage points

1

TOPLINES Questions 18-20 held for future releases.

1. In general, do you think things in this country are heading in the right direction or
the wrong direction?
Right Direction Wrong Direction DK/NA
10.13-15.15
29
67
4
9.17-18.15
30
67
2
8.7-10.15
30
68
3
7.13-19.15
33
65
2
6.3-7.15
31
66
3
4.6-8.15
35
64
1
2. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as
president?
Approve
Disapprove
Strongly Somewhat
Strongly
Somewhat
Net
approve
approve
Net disapprove disapprove
10.13-15.15
47
23
24
51
37
14
9.17-18.15
48
22
26
52
38
14
8.7-10.15
45
22
23
54
43
11
7.13-19.15
48
24
24
51
38
13
6.3-7.15
51
16
35
47
31
16
4.6-8.15
51
19
32
48
28
20
[SPLIT SAMPLE Q3, Q4, Q5 & Q6, Q7, Q8]
3. Thinking about the 2016 election, if a candidate for president supports raising the
federal minimum wage to $15.00 dollars per hour from $7.25, would that make you
more likely to vote for him or her, less likely, or wouldn’t it make much difference to
your vote?

10.13-15.15

More likely
to vote for
39

Less likely
to vote for
36

Not much difference

N/A

23

2

4. Thinking about the 2016 election, if a candidate for president supports stricter
gun control laws, would that make you more likely to vote for him or her, less likely,
or wouldn’t it make much difference to your vote?

10.13-15.15

More likely
to vote for
37

Less likely
to vote for
40

Not much difference

N/A

21

2
2

DK/
NA
2
1
1
1
1
0

5. Which of the following comes CLOSER to your view, even if neither is exactly
right: [ROTATE RESPONSES]
10.13-15.15
Our country has made the changes
needed to give blacks equal rights with
whites
Our country needs to continue making
changes to give blacks equal rights
with whites
DK/NA

52
44
4

6. Thinking about the 2016 election, if a candidate for president supports increasing
federal government spending in order to offer free tuition at public universities,
would that make you more likely to vote for him or her, less likely, or wouldn’t it
make much difference to your vote?

10.13-15.15

More likely
to vote for
42

Less likely
to vote for
35

Not much difference

N/A

20

2

7. Thinking about the 2016 election, if a candidate for president supports increased
federal regulation over banks, Wall Street investors, and other financial institutions,
would that make you more likely to vote for him or her, less likely, or wouldn’t it
make much difference to your vote?

10.13-15.15

More likely
to vote for
44

Less likely
to vote for
24

Not much difference

N/A

29

3

8. Which of the following comes CLOSER to your view, even if neither are exactly
right: [ROTATE RESPONSES]
The government should do more to reduce the gap between
the rich and everyone else in America
The government should do more to ensure everyone in
America has the opportunity to reach the highest income
class, even if not everyone makes it
N/A

10.13-15.15
43
52
5
3

[RANDOMIZE Q9 & Q10]
9. Which of the following comes CLOSER to your view, even if neither is exactly
right:
10.13-15.15
The best way to ensure peace is through military strength
40
Good diplomacy is the best way to ensure peace
57
N/A
4
10. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: Candidates who receive
most of their campaign funding from large donors, corporations, or political action
committees (PACs) are more influenced by special interest groups than candidates
who raise most of their campaign funding from small donors.

10.13-15.15

Strongly
agree
55

Somewhat
agree
32

Somewhat
disagree
7

Strongly
disagree

DK/NA

3

3

11. In politics today, do you consider yourself a Republican, Democrat, or
Independent?
10.13-15.15
9.17-18.15
8.7-10.15
7.13-19.15
6.3-7.15
4.6-8.15

Republican Democrat Independent DK/No answer
27
32
37
3
29
31
37
4
30
32
36
2
27
33
38
2
23
35
40
2
23
34
41
2

12. [ASK IF INDEPENDENT or SKIP] As of today, do you lean more to the Republican
Party or more to the Democratic Party?
Republican Democrat Neither DK/NA
10.13-15.15
27
22
47
4
9.17-18.15
28
23
45
4
8.7-10.15
30
23
41
4
7.13-19.15
27
24
44
6
6.3-7.15
25
28
47
0
4.6-8.15
26
34
38
2

4

[ASK OF REPUBLICANS AND LEAN REPUBLICANS]
13. Here is a list of possible candidates for the Republican nomination for president
in 2016. If the 2016 Republican presidential primary or caucus in your state were
being held today, for whom would you vote? [RANDOMIZE 1-16]

Jeb Bush
Ben Carson
Chris Christie
Ted Cruz
Carly Fiorina
Jim Gilmore
Lindsey Graham
Mike Huckabee
Bobby Jindal
John Kasich
George Pataki
Rand Paul
Rick Perry
Marco Rubio
Rick Santorum
Donald Trump
Scott Walker
Someone else
Wouldn’t vote/ Don’t
know
No answer

10.13-15.15
RV
5
23
2
6
6
3
1
3
2
NA
9
28
NA
2
7

9.17-18.15
RV
8
14
3
7
11
2
2
1
3
NA
7
29
3
2
6

8.7-8.15 RV

7.13-19.15 RV

4.6-8.15 RV

7
10
1
14
8
1
5
1
2
5
1
8
22
7
1
6

9
8
3
6
2
NA
1
5
1
3
6
2
8
1
22
10
2
11

12
7
8
7
NA
NA
1
6
2
2
NA
7
3
6
NA
NA
12
5
21

2

1

1

2

2

[ASK OF DEMOCRATS AND LEAN DEMOCRATS]
14. Here is a list of possible candidates for the Democratic nomination for president
in 2016. If the 2016 Democratic presidential primary or caucus in your state were
being held today, for whom would you vote? [RANDOMIZE 1-7]
Joe Biden
Lincoln Chafee
Hillary Clinton
Lawrence Lessig
Martin O’Malley
Bernie Sanders
Elizabeth Warren
Jim Webb
Someone else
Wouldn’t vote/ Don’t know
No answer

10.13-15.15 RV
10
45
1
31
NA
1
2
9
1

9.17-18.15 RV
15
41
1
29
NA
1
3
9
1

8.7-10.15 RV
11
49
NA
1
25
NA
1
4
9
1

7.20-26.15 RV
7
48
NA
1
26
NA
1
3
13
1

4.6-8.15 RV
7
NA
50
NA
2
5
16
1
1
19
-

5

15. Did you happen to watch the debate among the Democratic candidates for
president that was held on Tuesday night, or not?
I watched the debate live
I did not watch the debate live, but followed coverage of it in the news
I did not watch the debate and haven’t really followed news
coverage about it
No answer

10.13-15.15
24
36
38
2

[Ask if Q15=1-2]
16. From what you have heard and read, who do you think won or did the best job in
the Democratic debate? [ROTATE 1-6]
Lincoln Chafee
Hillary Clinton

10.13-15.15 RV
1
37

Lawrence Lessig
Martin O’Malley
Bernie Sanders
Jim Webb
None of them
No answer

NA
1
28
4
27
2

17. From what you have heard and read, who do you think did the worst job in the
Democratic debate? [ROTATE 1-6]
Lincoln Chafee
Hillary Clinton
Lawrence Lessig

10.13-15.15 RV
20
15
NA

Martin O’Malley
Bernie Sanders
Jim Webb
None of them

7
5
17
31

No answer

5

6

21. In general, how would you describe your views on most political issues? Are
you:

10.13-15.15
9.17-18.15
8.7-10.15
7.13-19.15
6.3-7.15
4.6-8.15

Very
conservative
8
10
13
8
7
6

Conservative
24
25
25
24
20
19

Moderate
40
37
36
40
45
39

Liberal
15
16
15
17
19
23

Very
liberal
7
8
8
8
7
12

DK/NA
5
4
3
2
2
2

22. Some people are registered to vote and others are not. Are you registered to vote
in the election district where you now live, or aren’t you?

10.13-15.15

Yes,
registered
to vote
No, not registered to vote Don’t know N/A
82
11
4
3

23. Are you:

Male Female
10.13-15.15 48
52
24. What is your age?

10.13-15.15

18-29
22

30-44
26

45-64
35

65
and
older
18

DK/NA
NA

25. Some people think of themselves as evangelical or born again Christians. Do you
ever think of yourself in either of these ways?
10.13-15.15

Yes
32

No
65

DK/NA
3

7

26. How often do you attend religious or worship services, not including weddings
and funerals?

10.13-15.15

More
than
once a
week
10

Once a
week
21

One or
twice a
month
10

A few times
a year
16

Seldom
19

Never
21

DK/NA
3

College
15

Post
graduate
degree
12

27. Are you:
10.13-15.15
White
69
Black
12
Hispanic
10
Asian
2
Other
7
28. Are you of Hispanic or Latino origin or descent or not?
10.13-15.15
Yes

6

No

94

30. What was the last grade of school you completed?

10.13-15.15

Did not
complete
high
school
4

High
school
or G.E.D
37

Associate
degree
8

Some
College
24

DK/NA
NA

31. My total family income last year was:

10.13-15.15

Under
$15,000
10

Between
$15,000$29,999
12

Between
$30,000$49,999
17

Between
$50,000$74,999
19

Between
$75,000$99,999
13

Between
$100,000$150,000
14

Over
$150,000
10

8

DK/
NA
6