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Why We Are Data Collection Experts: Multimodal Collection Paired with Balanced Weighting

With 3+ decades of survey research under our belts, and having worked in every state in the nation, we know a thing or two about data collection. But technology and the state of the art doesn’t standstill. As things change, CERC has quickly adopted and honed multimodal research methodologies to leverage the new realities of how Americans communicate. Collecting data via landline and cellphone and managing that process is well-established, and this continues to account for a large piece of the data collection pie. The advent of push-to-web using text and e-mail samples, however, requires deep knowledge about how to achieve coverage of the electorate/market, as well how to meet the time constraints of a crucial data collection window. Producing an accurate sample within that window requires precisely calibrating each collection mode along with data weighting on the backend. There are lots of ways to mess this up. A confidence-inducing sample is only achieved through a balanced and well-thought out approach.

If you'd like to learn more about CERC's data collection capabilities, drop John Nienstedt an email at and he'd be happy to discuss your needs.

Edge Interview: Former San Diego City Councilman Byron Wear

Byron’s first run for City Council and Competitive Edge’s role in it was CERC’s very first project, in which we were hired by the other side (the Kay Davis campaign) and learned some very valuable lessons. Despite his defeat in that race at the hands of another friend-of-CERC Ron Roberts, Byron eventually persevered to become San Diego’s 2nd District City Councilman. He served two terms which included two years as Deputy Mayor. Byron remains active in community affairs and he’s pushing to revitalize San Diego’s Midway District. Have a read to learn more about this dynamic community leader.
Read the Edge Interview

Message Testing: Here are the 3 “Must Haves” in a Persuasive Message

We are surrounded by a sea of messages in the digital era. Studies peg the average of number of daily texts and e-mail messages at about 350. When we get into TV, web, outdoor and other ubiquitous forms of advertising, that figure soars. While tech has ramped up messaging, time for consumers or voters remains a limited constant, so that the new challenge for those with something important to say is how to connect through all the noise. We’re not talking about getting noticed, we’re interested in driving opinion change, otherwise known as persuasion.
In this blog post we discuss the three crucial components of an effective message: it must provide new information, that information must be important to the target and it must solicit agreement. Whether about a candidate, issue or product, each component is necessary to effectively persuade. Have a read and let us know your thoughts by reaching out to!
Read the Blog Post
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Thoughts on CERC's Virtual Attendance of the 2020 75th Annual VAAPOR Conference

CERC President John Nienstedt and Research Analyst Jenny Holland, PhD “attended” the 75th Annual AAPOR Conference in June. As readers know, our paper on alternative methods for determining when an incumbent is vulnerable to a challenge was selected for presentation. The confab was supposed to be in Atlanta, but due to the COVID pandemic, it was held "virtually" for the first time. Although we found some presentations and papers insightful, we felt the virtual format was ineffective for this type of gathering. In anticipation of this, we decided beforehand to postpone presentation of our paper until next year's live (hopefully) conference. As a longstanding AAPOR member, we look forward to the opportunity to share our findings next year and thank our colleagues for their contributions.
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Johnny Nienstedt will be a Gaucho!

With joy and a tinge of melancholy, CERC proudly announces that John Nienstedt's son Johnny will be leaving the nest this fall to attend the University of California - Santa Barbara to study physics within UCSB's esteemed College of Creative Studies. The college has about 500 students within the university’s larger 22,000 student body. Johnny was a stellar student at Del Norte High School in the Poway Unified School District, achieving a 4.31 GPA. He also pitched for Nighthawks Baseball. In a season cut short by the COVID lockdown, Johnny started what turned out to be the team’s last contest and tossed a complete game in his first outing. We are all proud of Johnny and look forward to his field reports from college.
NOTE: CERC is SAFELY open for business.  We’re conducting interviews out of our El Paso office as well as having our trained interviewers work remotely from home. Although in-person focus groups are not feasible at this time due to COVID, we are conducting focus groups online. In the next issue of The Edge, we'll share some of the differences and advantages of online focus groups.
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