Cellphone Effect' Could Skew Polling Predictions

  • tongun18

    Posts: 593

    Nov 02, 2010 5:13 PM GMT
    Found this on Slashdot, here's the link:
    http://politics.slashdot.org/story/10/11/02/1615223/Cellphone-Effect-Could-Skew-Polling-Predictions?from=rss

    Out of curiosity, where do you guys land on the political spectrum and how many of you have ditched the landline for a cell phone only?

    "A good deal of polling data suggest that Republicans may win the House of Representatives in today's mid-term elections. However, Nate Silver writes in the NY Times that there are several factors that could skew the election, allowing Democrats to outperform their polls and beat consensus expectations. Most prominent is the 'cellphone effect.' In 2003, just 3.2% of households were cell-only, while in the 2010 election one-quarter of American adults have ditched their landlines and rely exclusively on their mobile phones, and a lot of pollsters don't call mobile phones. Cellphone-only voters tend to be younger, more urban, and less white — all Democratic demographics — and a study by Pew Research suggests that the failure to include them might bias the polls by about 4 points against Democrats, even after demographic weighting is applied. Another factor that could skew results is the Robopoll effect, where there are significant differences between the results shown by automated surveys and those which use live human interviewers — the 'robopolls' being 3 or 4 points more favorable to Republicans over all. It may be that only adults who are extremely engaged by politics (who are more likely to be Republican, especially this year) bother to respond to robocalls. Still, when all is said and done, 'more likely than not, Republicans will indeed win the House, and will do so by a significant margin,' writes Silver. 'But just as Republicans could beat the consensus, Democrats could too, and nobody should be particularly shocked if they do.'"
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    Nov 02, 2010 6:54 PM GMT
    Haven't had a landline in more than 7 years.
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    Nov 02, 2010 7:02 PM GMT
    My partner got an MSNBC political survey call on his cellphone the other day, so I don't know if that only applies to lan lines anymore?
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    Nov 02, 2010 7:43 PM GMT
    mocktwinkie saidMy partner got an MSNBC political survey call on his cellphone the other day, so I don't know if that only applies to lan lines anymore?


    I think some polls call cellphone numbers but not many. The vast majority of them still go through landlines. I mean the 2008 presidential election was said to be "very close" all the way up to election day, election day came and it wasn't even close.

    They need to figure out a new system.