Why Conduct Benchmark Polls?
A benchmark poll is typically the first poll that a candidate or prospective candidate will have conducted. Its purpose is to get an initial understanding of where you as a candidate stand with likely voters in your area. You can have it conducted before you run, in order to have a basis for deciding whether or not to be a candidate.
Voter views of candidates
Amongst other things, the benchmark poll can tell you how much name recognition you have and the impression that voters have of you. That impression may come from your past work, your community involvements, or other ways that you have been involved in your area.
The benchmark poll can also tell you how much name recognition other candidates running for the same position have, and the voters’ impressions of them. With that information, you will know what your chances are at the beginning while there is still plenty of time to improve them.
Improving your message
One of the key ways to improve your chances as a candidate is to improve your message. Benchmark polls can help with that too, by giving you an understanding of which issues voters view as most important. That lets you focus your campaign materials and appearances on the issues that voters care about most and engage their support.
A benchmark poll provides results as a full report with easy-to-read charts and tables of voters’ answers to each question. It also comes with crosstabs, which are a breakdown of results by gender, age, and other demographic factors. That lets you understand what is most important to specific groups of voters so you can successfully tailor your message to their interests.