How much do you charge for your research services?

Telephone poll charges are based on three factors:

  • The number of interviews completed
  • The average length of an interview ($2.50 per minute)
  • The incidence rate of the population being polled

Example: A typical 15-minute interview of voters would cost $37.50 to complete. Three hundred 15-minute interviews would be billed to the client at $11,250.00. This price includes the cost of questionnaire and sample design, interviewing, analysis, and reporting.

Surveys of less common or low-incidence populations (for example: frequent flyers, specific radio station listeners, potential automobile buyers, parents of school-age children, etc.) will cost more because extra calls must be made to locate qualified respondents.

The out-of-pocket costs of some telephone samples and travel to poll presentations, if required, are billed separately. HRC can prepare a customized price for your project at no obligation.

Web or online polls, mail surveys or intercept interviews are unique and require a custom quotation. Call us for an estimate that gathers the information you need to collect.

Focus groups typically run $4,900.00 to $5,000.00 per group.

Prices for opposition research and competitive intelligence studies are based on hourly charges plus the costs charged by providers for access to certain databases. Contact us for an estimate on your project.

How many people should I poll?

There is no single answer to this question. One must take into account a project’s goals and objectives, as well as your budget and needs for accuracy, to satisfactorily answer this question. HRC recommends samples of no less than 500 to 600 for statewide surveys that will be released publicly. Media are not interested in smaller samples. For congressional district polls and some market research surveys, samples of 300 to 400 are adequate. Nationwide samples should be 800 or larger.

The margin of error for some common sample sizes is shown in the table below.

Sampling error for common sample sizes

Based on simple random samples with 95% confidence intervals (or in 19 out of 20 random samples), assuming a worst case (50%-50%) split in opinion

Sample Size at 95% confidence
60 +12.7%
100 +9.8%
200 +6.9%
300 +5.7%
400 +4.9%
500 +4.4%
600 +4.0%
700 +3.7%
800 +3.5%
900 +3.3%
1000 +3.1%

How long does it take to do a poll?

HRC has had clients call in the morning, commission a poll we conduct that same evening, and produce results the next morning. But that is the exception. Most good projects require two weeks to complete. Typically, questionnaire design takes 3 or 4 days and the interviewing portion of a project requires 2 to 4 days. Topline results are always available to HRC clients within 24 hours after interviewing is completed. Full analysis comes in 5 business days.

Generally, for focus groups the timeline is comparable. It takes about 2 weeks to recruit groups to client specifications and a week to ten days (longer if a full transcript is required) to complete the analysis and reporting.

Isn’t Hill Research just a “political firm?” Do you really do market research?

About one-third of HRC’s billings are for political campaigns. The rest are for non-campaign projects, including pure marketing research studies.

In partisan politics, you seem to work only with Republicans. Why?

Political consulting firms derive significant revenues from political parties. Therefore, the parties expect and deserve partisan fidelity. We have cast our lot with the Republicans. There are also many non-partisan ballot measure campaigns, supported by representatives of both parties, that hire the services of HRC.

Do you have any standards or codes of ethics?

Hill Research Consultants abides by the broad principles outlined in the codes of standards of several professional associations, including the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the Council of American Survey Research Organizations (CASRO). Specifically, HRC is committed to these standards of professional practice and responsibility:

We will respect survey respondents by:

  • Protecting the identity of respondents by ensuring that individuals and their responses cannot be related except for legitimate and reasonable client verification needs
  • Protecting the respondent from interviews that include incorrect or misleading information; involve sensitive subject matters that might create discomfort or apprehension; are excessive in length; or are initiated at an inconvenient time

We will respect clients by:

  • Honestly stating the practical limits of research in answering client information needs
  • Fully meeting all study specifications and allowing the client to verify all relevant material to confirm compliance with agreed upon operations and procedures
  • Holding strictly confidential all information obtained about the client’s business affairs and research program


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