UCB Libraries

How do I... find public opinion information?

  • Survey Questions/Results
  • Survey Datasets
  • Books/Articles
  • Websites

iPoll CU
Description: Contains nearly half a million individual questions from United States public opinion polls from 1935 to the present. This database is searchable by keyword, topic, polling organization, and date. You can view individual results by question or download datasets.
Dates: 1935 - present
Coverage: United States


Polling the Nations CU
Description: Compiles more than 14,000 surveys on more than 6,000 topics from 1400+ polling sources in the United States and more than 100 other countries.
Dates: 1986 - present
Coverage: United States and International

Description: This site contains studies and analysis gathered by the European Commission in its Member States. The polls “address major topics concerning European citizenship: enlargement, social situation, health, culture, information technology, environment, the Euro, defence, etc.” Searchable by topic, question, country, including comparative and country waves.
Dates: 1973 - present
Coverage: International/European


European Values Survey (EVS)

Based in the Netherlands the EVS concerns itself with asking Europeans about religion and morality, politics, work and leisure, and relationships. Previous and current surveys are located along the left-hand side of the homepage, and they include surveys from 1981, 1990, 1999, and 2000 as well as the most recent 2008 survey which is currently in the field. 

Dates: 1981 - present

Coverage: International/European


Gallup Poll Briefing CU
Description: Previously known as Gallup Poll Tuesday Briefing, Gallup Poll Monthly, and Gallup Report, this is a monthly publication containing data, analysis, trends, and charts on current public opinion by the Gallup Poll News Service. Note: You may also need to search by one of the previous title names in order to find the appropriate issue.
Dates: 1996 - present
Coverage: United States


Pew Research Center (PRC)
Description: A nonpartisan “fact tank,” that conducts surveys and provides information on a variety of issues. After taking a look at how to use PRC, you might start at the Topic Index or the Databank, but you can also find analysis and commentary here. While PRC was launched recently (2004), you can find datasets and reports from the late 90s by looking at the ‘Projects of the Center’ pages. 
Dates: Varies. Mostly 1999-present
Coverage: Mostly United States; International in Pew Global Attitudes Project


American National Election Studies (ANES) 
Description: A collaboration between Stanford and the University of Michigan, ANES offers “data on voting, public opinion, and political participation,” including a data center, guide to public opinion, an online commons, email list, and an online data analysis feature.
Dates: 1948 - present
Coverage: United States


World Values Survey
Description: This site offers the ability for comparative, longitudinal analysis of data collected from countries around the world on values and cultural opinion. It contains survey questions and results, online data analysis abilities, including tables and graphs, along with the capability to download data sets. 
Dates: 1978-2006
Coverage: International


Description: PollingReport is an online, nonpartisan resource for American public opinion that specializes in trends, political actors, and current issues, compiling poll results from various media sources. Many current poll questions and results are available at no cost, however, there is a subscription fee for extended and full use of the site, including the state poll results.
Dates: Varies. Mostly since 2000.
Coverage: United States


National Opinion Research Center (NORC)
Description: NORC has collected data on local, national, and international public opinion since 1941. This organization has administered the widely used General Social Survey since 1972, monitoring American demographics, attitudes, and trends over time.  The presence of questions, datasets, and analyses varies by project. The projects themselves range from international initiatives to health economics to the state of the humanities.
Dates: 1941 - present
Coverage: United States and International


Odum Institute for Research in Social Science
Description: In the Institute’s Public Opinion Poll Database, researchers can “search for specific poll questions among the more than 230,000 questions in the Institute's archive by key words, date, study number, study title, or state.”
Dates: 1960s - present
Coverage: United States with a specific focus on the southern U.S.


Health Poll Search
Description: This searchable archive is useful for researchers interested in finding public opinion polls about what Americans think about health care currently and in the past. “The Health Poll Search archive covers 29 topics and more than 300 subtopics, and holds more than 60,000 questions on health issues from health care surveys that have included questions on health.”
Dates: 1935 - present
Coverage: United States


Public Agenda Online
Description: A nonprofit opinion research organization that covers topics and issues related to American life and concern: issues such as immigration, education, religion, foreign policy, etc. This resource differs from many others in the way it compiles and publishes information, with “Issue Guides” that explore the basics, the public opinion information, and the additional resources that pertain to a specific topic. Note: To obtain some data, you must complete a free registration process.
Dates: 1995-present
Coverage: United States

Roper Center for Public Opinion CU
Description: This data archive includes a dataset collection from nearly 10,000 U.S. survey results and 7,000 international survey results, with 75% accessible for immediate download via Roper Express. It includes the Latin American Databank and JPOLL, the Japanese Data Archive.
Dates: 1930s - present
Coverage: United States and International


ICPSR (Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research) CU
Description: Use this resource for online analysis and to download social science data. New users might begin here at ICPSR’s data use tutorial.
Dates: Varies
Coverage: United States and International


Public opinion and polling around the world : a historical encyclopedia / John G. Geer
Location: Norlin Reference Stacks; Call number: HM1236 .P84 2004 


Introduction to the role and history of public opinion in the United States and internationally for the beginning researcher or student.


Polling and the public : what every citizen should know / Herbert Asher
Location: Norlin Stacks; Call number: HM261 .A74 2004    


Basic information to help citizens evaluate and assess polls and how they are used in the public discourse.


The voter's guide to election polls / Michael W. Traugott, Paul J. Lavrakas
Location: Norlin Stacks; Call number: HN90.P8 T73 2000       

Polling history; data collection techniques; data analysis and use; evaluating results; common problems.


Survey research methods / Floyd J. Fowler, Jr
Location: Norlin Stacks; Call number: HN29 .F68 2002 

Introduction and overview to data collection and social surveys.


Sourcebook of Harris national surveys : repeated questions 1963-1976 / [edited by] Elizabeth Martin, Diana McDuffee [and] Stanley Presser
Location: Norlin Stacks; Call number: HN90.P8 S65      

Questions repeatedly asked in Harris National Surveys from 1963-1976. The questions included here help to identify trends and changes in the American public opinion over the 60s and 70s.


American national election studies data sourcebook, 1952-1986 / Warren E. Miller, Santa A. Traugott  
Location: Norlin Stacks; Call number: JK1967 .M54 1989 

Survey questions and results over a range of 30+ years. A useful resource for those who want to do longitudinal research or to find reliable, repeated question wording.


Public opinion polls and survey research : a selective annotated bibliography of U.S. guides and studies from the 1980s / Graham R. Walden
Location: Norlin Reference Stacks; Call number:  Z7164.P956W34 1990 

Ccitations with detailed annotations covering literature produced in the 1980s on public opinion polls.

Find Books in Chinook

Starting in Chinook's Advanced Keyword Search, enter the topic, issue, or geographic region for which you want to find public opinion and select 'Any Field' (e.g. Congress, gun control, Venezuela). Then, enter 'public opinion' and select the Subject field to help refine your results.



If your search doesn't elicit very many relevant results, you might try some alternative keywords for your topic or issue (e.g. replace 'environmental policy' with 'energy policy'). For more information on choosing better keywords for your search, click here.


Helpful subject terms
You can also use some of the following subject terms for your search in Chinook: Public opinion, foreign public opinion, Public opinion polls, Public opinion – United States, Mass media and public opinion, Attitude (Psychology), public opinion in literature.


Useful general databases for finding scholarly articles on public opinion are International Political Science Abstracts, which indexes articles from 1989 to the present from a number of public opinion journals, and JSTOR.


The following journals focus on public opinion research and analyses and are available via CU Libraries. Click on the journal title below to browse or search in a specific publication.

Public Opinion Quarterly CU
International Journal of Public Opinion Research CU
Journal of Official Statistics CU
Public Perspective CU
International Journal of Market Research CU

Polling 101 - This tutorial is a useful introduction to the field. It offers basic descriptions, examples, and explanations of public opinion research and polling, including sections on sampling, margins of error, reading tables, and a glossary of terms.


This Guide to public opinion poll Web sites highlights a range of resources for finding public opinion data in selected states, nationally, and internationally, including a few blogs, email discussion groups, and organizations. Some of the resources are freely available online; for others, check to see if the library offers access to the database or resource.


20 Questions a Journalist Should Ask about Poll Results - While aimed at journalists, this list provides helpful questions for students or researchers to consider when assessing public opinion poll results.  


The Directory of academic and media polling organizations (Yale Library) offers a list of polling organizations’ web sites, where you can often find current or recent poll results.


Public Opinion Polls – Research Guide (University of Pennsylvania Libraries) features an extensive, annotated list of electronic and print resources. While there is some overlap with the resources listed above, this guide offers a broader look at print resources.

CU = Resources marked with this symbol are available in campus libraries and to students, staff, and faculty via the campus network. Use of these resources is subject to copyright laws and license limitations. Remote access information.