CLOSUP is partnering with the Institute for Public Policy and Social Research (IPPSR) at Michigan State University to help support the Michigan Policy Insiders Panel (MPIP), a regular online survey of state political insiders. MPIP's goal is to understand how policymakers learn about state problems, develop political influence, and interact to produce policy solutions. The confidential online panel will regularly survey Michigan legislators and legislative staff, high-level Michigan administrative officials, and interest group leaders and lobbyists. MPIP will also serve as a basis of comparison for public views ascertained via IPPSR's State of the State Survey and CLOSUP's Michigan Public Policy Survey, providing data to understand differences in opinions between state and local officials and the public.
The MPIP will assess the backgrounds, interconnections, policy views, expectations, and perceptions of Michigan policymakers. A portion of each survey round will be dedicated to assessing the views of these political and policymaking insiders on public policy issues where SoSS provides corresponding views from Michigan citizens. A panel survey allows background questions to be asked in the entrance survey, with additional surveys retaining these links to prior information. MPIP can therefore assess changes in attitudes as the state legislature pursues policies and as election campaigns progress, which then enables analyses of changes in perceptions and opinions in response to real-world political events. A panel will also allow MPIP to ask respondents for predictions of future events that can be used to make crowdsourced forecasts of political outcomes and to assess the forecasting ability of panel members.
The project is designed to address the governing challenges of Michigan today while also building infrastructure for future research to respond to new political circumstances. MPIP is designed to allow investigating questions about many policy issues while providing the flexibility to ask about new issues as they arise. MPIP will assess how Michigan political elites become involved in politics and obtain their positions; their connections with each other across parties, institutions, and issue areas; and their views of the performance of Michigan political institutions and leaders. The project will research support for potential reforms and perceptions of voters, as well as views of how Michigan compares to other states in policy, institutions, and performance.
The new panel survey is administered by IPPSR's Office for Survey Research, which has longstanding and wide-ranging expertise in online surveys. MPIP hopes to reach out to about 2,500 people, and to construct a panel of 700 citizens, with substantial portions of the sample from legislative and administrative policymaking positions. All panel members will be invited to participate in online surveys at least four times per year. Panel members' names will never be linked to individual answers, and all results will only be reported in the aggregate.
For further information, please contact IPPSR Director Matt Grossmann at matt at mattg.org. MPIP expects to make results publicly available through releases to news outlets. To be added to MPIP's media list, please contact Cynthia Kyle at cynthia.kyle at ssc.msu.edu.