Poll Finds Pollsters May Have Trouble Polling Mobile-Only Crowd

from the must-be-election-season dept

How do you know election season is approaching? Perhaps because stories that we haven’t seen in about two years are starting to show up again. During the run up to the 2004 Presidential election, there were countless stories talking about how young folks today are increasingly dropping the landline and going mobile phone only. The political angle was that phone pollsters only call landlines — and thus could be undercounting the youth demographic, who are more likely to just use mobile phones. Of course, that turned out to not have much of an impact (other than making Jimmy Breslin’s final column look pretty silly). However, now that we’re getting closer to the mid-term elections, suddenly everyone’s wondering about the impact of those crazy youngsters with no land lines. So, how did the Associated Press find out about those mobile-only voters? You guessed it: they took a poll — which, of course, would suggest that perhaps it really isn’t that difficult for pollsters to reach mobile-only people if they just have the right connections. However, it is true that traditional landline only polling may eventually run into issues with missing out on a certain segment of the population, but it seems likely that some sort of workaround will be arranged to fill in the gaps without too much trouble.

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Comments on “Poll Finds Pollsters May Have Trouble Polling Mobile-Only Crowd”

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Robert says:


The political parties buy the voter rolls from the government (legal) and try to cross ref with the “phone company” records to get the numbers – obviously missing the VoIP users (something this story did NOT address but will affect at least MY household this year) and the cell phone users.

The parties don’t usually call in the guise of a “survey.” They usually make calls on the day of the vote based on voter turnout in precints that normally carry their party. If the vote count is DOWN in those areas, the voters get calls.

That’s how the “poll watchers” and the “callers” are linked together – just basic stuff.

Walter Dnes says:

What about people with answering machines?

I’ve been able to avoid surveys and sales calls for several years, thanks to my answering machine. If I recognize a voice leaving a message, I’ll pick up the phone and answer them. Otherwise, forget it. So much for telemarketing jerks.

As far as I’m concerned, *ANYBODY* who makes a living from cold calls to people who haven’t asked for info, is a telemarketing jerk.

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