Our Methodology


Our rapid response surveys and vast data archive allow us to share authentic, real-time perspectives on rapidly evolving topics, while also maintaining long-term tracking on the nation’s top issues. Using rigorous methodology, Navigator’s polling and analytics team diagnoses public opinion on key policies and current events and provides actionable, data-driven messaging guidance for talking about the issues that matter most.


Each Navigator survey focuses on three to four overarching topics, with additional tracking questions included in each survey to understand the issue and policy landscape in the country. Survey questionnaires are designed to take approximately twenty minutes for participants to complete.

  • Sequencing: We use best practices in sequencing questions and randomizing answer choices to avoid order effects.
  • Message testing: We use split-sample survey experiments, battery matrices, and re-asks of questions after messaging to assess complex attitudes and understand who is persuadable on key policy issues.
  • Open-ended questions: Our surveys also include open-ended responses that allow respondents to use their own words and further inform our qualitative research findings.

Sampling and Fielding Methods

National Navigator surveys are conducted among samples of approximately 1,000 registered voters per survey. We also include oversamples in every survey among approximately 100 Hispanic voters, 100 African American voters, 75 Asian American and Pacific Islanders, and 100 independents without a partisan lean. Navigator’s national surveys are conducted online, recruiting respondents from an opt-in online panel vendor.

Navigator also conducts quarterly survey research as part of our Navigating the Battleground project. These surveys are conducted among 1,500 likely 2024 general election voters across approximately 60 closely-divided House districts. These surveys are conducted via text-to-web.

All respondents for all Navigator surveys are verified against a voter file, and special care is taken to ensure the demographic composition of our samples match that of populations surveyed across a variety of demographic variables.


After publishing written reports on the survey’s main topics, we then publish toplines that include a combination of results from tracking questions as well as topic-specific sections.

Explore our polling data reports to learn more.


Navigator conducts qualitative research to assess public opinion on politically salient issues among groups of varied demographics, partisanship, and engagement levels.

Focus Groups

We conduct focus groups among key segments of the American public both online and in-person to inform policy debates and issue advocacy. Our moderators take special care to create environments where participants can use their own words to express their perspectives.

  • Sequencing: Similar to our survey questionnaires, our focus group guides use best practices in sequencing to avoid order effects.
  • Message testing: Focus groups provide an opportunity to conduct message testing that further informs our quantitative findings.

Explore our focus group reports to learn more.

Dial Groups

Navigator has conducted live dial groups to gauge real-time reactions to live events. Participants gather at an in-person location where they are given a dial that ranges from zero to 100. Participants are instructed to move their dials up or down to correspond with their real-time reactions during an event.

Explore our dial group reports to learn more.