The audience for the special CBS New Town Hall on the economy, with President Obama, was selected at the sole discretion of CBS News.
CBS News picked the participants from three sources:
1) a database established by the CBS News Election and Survey Unit through phone calls to a scientific random sample of households in the Washington DC area, including counties in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia, conducted April 28-30, 2011
2) respondents to previous national telephone surveys conducted by CBS News in 2010 and 2011 who agreed to be re-contacted by CBS News, and
3) universities and non-partisan professional groups in the Washington D.C. area
Participants were selected from the database by CBS News producers in order to assure a diverse range of the population based on age, sex, race, socio-economic levels, and political preferences.