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American Public Responses to COVID-19 – April 2020

Appendix III: Survey Method

The data in this report are based on a scientific online poll of 3,933 American adults, aged 18 and older, conducted by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication ( and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication ( Data collection was administered by James Wyatt at Climate Nexus Polling ( The survey was conducted April 3 – 7, 2020. All questionnaires were self-administered by respondents in a web-based environment. The survey took, on average, 19 minutes to complete. The sample was drawn from a scientific online panel of U.S. respondents using stratified sampling methods. Key demographic variables (age, gender, race and Hispanic ethnicity, income, educational attainment, region) were weighted, post survey, to align with U.S. Census Bureau norms. Weights were trimmed not to exceed 3. Weights range from 0.30 to 3.0, with a mean of 0.99, median of 0.78, and standard deviation of 0.59. 95% of the weights fall between 0.39 and 2.97.

The survey instrument was designed by Anthony Leiserowitz, Matthew Ballew, Parrish Bergquist, Matthew Goldberg, Abel Gustafson, Jennifer Marlon, and Seth Rosenthal of Yale University, and Edward Maibach, John Kotcher, and Amira Roess of George Mason University. The data tables in this report were automated by Parrish Bergquist, Xinran Wang, and Andry Rajaoberison of Yale University.


Sample details and margins of error

All samples are subject to some degree of sampling error – that is, statistical results obtained from a sample can be expected to differ somewhat from results that would be obtained if every member of the target population were interviewed. Average margins of error, at the 95% confidence level, are plus or minus 2 percentage points.


Rounding error

For tabulation purposes, percentage points are rounded to the nearest whole number. As a result, percentages in a given chart may total slightly higher or lower than 100%. Summed response categories (e.g., “strongly agree” + “somewhat agree”) are rounded after sums are calculated (e.g., 25.3% + 25.3% = 50.6%, which, after rounding, would be reported as 25% + 25% = 51%).

The data are publicly available on the Open Science Framework.