Though best known for helping companies and individuals set up simple online surveys, SurveyMonkey has quietly gotten into the serious political polling game. It hired veteran pollster Jon Cohen in 2014 and has been tracking U.S. and U.K. elections for several years now.
How it works: The company asks a random selection of the over 3 million people who take surveys on its platform each day to participate in another poll. The company then tries to adjust for demographic factors like age, race, gender, and education level.
Results: The effort did quite well in the recent 2017 U.K. election, delivering the single-most accurate prediction with Conservatives at +3.6% (the final tally was +2.4% ahead of Labour). And while the 2016 election had its hits and misses for SurveyMonkey, Cohen notes the company did quite well in the Rust Belt in states where other polls were way off.
Why it matters: The fact is that phone polling is getting more expensive and less accurate.
Plus: As a side benefit, you get some interesting data you wouldn't get from phone polls. For example, SurveyMonkey has published a rather unique look at the 2016 presidential race on how the election would have shaped up if only Mac people voted, or only PC, or only iPhone, or only Android. (See GIF above)
Ina has more on the U.K. election here and on how Americans voted by device type here.