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(The Atlantic)   Political phone polling results are skewed. This is a repeat from 1936   (theatlantic.com) divider line 51
    More: Amusing, President Roosevelt, psychological testing, election days  
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1539 clicks; posted to Politics » on 21 Sep 2012 at 11:51 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-09-21 10:09:27 AM
I believe the famous phone polling election was 48, subby.

encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com
 
2012-09-21 10:45:36 AM

impaler: I believe the famous phone polling election was 48, subby.

[encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com image 259x194]


Nope. Subby is right:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Literary_Digest
Not clickied because you could've looked it up yourself.
 
2012-09-21 10:54:31 AM
Ok, subby was right.

The '48 Chicago Tribune embarrassment had more to do with other failures, and not so much about phone polling.
 
2012-09-21 11:54:07 AM
This article was better when Nate Silver wrote it
 
2012-09-21 11:57:31 AM
The funny part is, it's not so much that the cellphones skew the electoral polls, as leaving them out does. The situation in 1936 meant that only a subset of voters were polled (not many people had phones, after all). Today, one must include cellphones in order to include all demographics, as going landline-only, as the article points out, leaves out many of the young and the lower classes. As someone who is, myself, young, I'm the only person I know who has anything approaching a landline -- and that's a VOIP line from T-Mobile, so the polling firms would probably exclude it as a cell.
 
2012-09-21 11:59:23 AM
No s****. Only baby boomers and old people have landlines anymore. So of course they're going to be skewed towards Romney, since they're the only people who are actually going to vote for Romney.

/note: by "only" I mean "mostly" but this is Fark
 
2012-09-21 12:03:46 PM

TheSelphie: No s****. Only baby boomers and old people have landlines anymore. So of course they're going to be skewed towards Romney, since they're the only people who are actually going to vote for Romney.


And it's in the interests of media companies to portray this as a close race.

Of course, people with only cell phones are less likely to vote, as well.
 
2012-09-21 12:07:49 PM
All phone surveys are skewed because only the most lonely or the most politically radical participate when those assholes call during supper. Otherwise they call during the day when most people are working so the folks they get are elderly, un-or-under employed.
 
2012-09-21 12:09:36 PM
"Obama seems to do better in live-interview polls, while Romney benefits from automated polls."

Romney fans enjoy talking to robots. Makes sense.
 
2012-09-21 12:10:29 PM
Yep Phone polls are notoriously inaccurate.

And then throw in the fact that I lie on every phone poll because: a. They waste my time and b. I receive no monetary benefit from taking a survey while the surveyor profits greatly from my time. So that doesn't help with the accuracy.

Yes, I'm a petty ass.
 
2012-09-21 12:13:08 PM

TheSelphie: Only baby boomers and old people have landlines anymore.


They're the only ones with the luxury of being able to stay in one place long enough to make it worthwhile. The rest of us have to worry about lay-offs every time a VP sneezes or rent rising $90/yr because "fark you" and we need to constantly move around.

/last 9 years, only lived in the same place for 2 years at the longest
//moved 6 times in the last year
 
2012-09-21 12:13:26 PM

HeartBurnKid: As someone who is, myself, young, I'm the only person I know who has anything approaching a landline -- and that's a VOIP line from T-Mobile, so the polling firms would probably exclude it as a cell.


I've gotten at least 5 political poll phone calls on my cell phone in the last 2 weeks. What am I missing here?

Also, the phone polls are hilarious. The last one I took spent the first 2 minutes telling me how terrible the economy and taxes were before asking me which of three types of taxes I wanted to reduce most. Either that was a Rasmussen poll, or it wasn't a poll, it was a GOP advertisement pretending to be a poll.
 
2012-09-21 12:13:58 PM
I'd like to point out that this baby boomer gave up his landline several years ago.

/Also Voting for Obama
//Late baby boomer
///Dressed like a hippie in Junior High
 
2012-09-21 12:14:55 PM
RealClearPolitics polling averages and Infrared odds. Why look at anything else?
 
2012-09-21 12:16:49 PM
FTFA: "The most obvious answer is that Obama enjoys more support among minorities and the young, who are less likely to have landlines."

You don't say?

Here's an interesting article from the Pew Research Center on this very subject: The Growing Gap between Landline and Dual Frame Election Polls.

/Two years old, but well researched.
 
2012-09-21 12:17:32 PM

Tenga: RealClearPolitics polling averages and Infrared odds. Why look at anything else?


No wonder they can see so well if they are using infra red.
 
2012-09-21 12:19:10 PM

Sergeant Grumbles: TheSelphie: Only baby boomers and old people have landlines anymore.

They're the only ones with the luxury of being able to stay in one place long enough to make it worthwhile. The rest of us have to worry about lay-offs every time a VP sneezes or rent rising $90/yr because "fark you" and we need to constantly move around.

/last 9 years, only lived in the same place for 2 years at the longest
//moved 6 times in the last year


That's not really it for me. I'm not paying extra for a landline when 95% of the people who call are my mom and spam.
 
2012-09-21 12:21:36 PM

TheSelphie: Sergeant Grumbles: TheSelphie: Only baby boomers and old people have landlines anymore.

They're the only ones with the luxury of being able to stay in one place long enough to make it worthwhile. The rest of us have to worry about lay-offs every time a VP sneezes or rent rising $90/yr because "fark you" and we need to constantly move around.

/last 9 years, only lived in the same place for 2 years at the longest
//moved 6 times in the last year

That's not really it for me. I'm not paying extra for a landline when 95% of the people who call are my mom and spam.


The only time I've had a "landline" in the last 10 years was when it comes in a TV/Internet package.
 
2012-09-21 12:22:06 PM
I'm 33 and have a landline, but only because of my security system. I never answer it though.
 
2012-09-21 12:22:37 PM
The greater portion of Democrats polled also is skewing the results. 20% more commies and Fartbongo is dead even? rMoney is going to win big. It's the economy stupid.
 
2012-09-21 12:22:56 PM

lennavan: HeartBurnKid: As someone who is, myself, young, I'm the only person I know who has anything approaching a landline -- and that's a VOIP line from T-Mobile, so the polling firms would probably exclude it as a cell.

I've gotten at least 5 political poll phone calls on my cell phone in the last 2 weeks. What am I missing here?

Also, the phone polls are hilarious. The last one I took spent the first 2 minutes telling me how terrible the economy and taxes were before asking me which of three types of taxes I wanted to reduce most. Either that was a Rasmussen poll, or it wasn't a poll, it was a GOP advertisement pretending to be a poll.


I got a push poll for a local county seat election, and got one that actually asked me if I considered "Education, the economy, or abortion the number one issue facing America". I answered education.

They also asked me who I would have voted for if the election were held that day. I told them my answer, they asked "Is there any way you could change your mind?" and my response was "Hell no".

I didn't go into the fact I cannot support any candidate from a party that is actively engaged in supporting creationism, more tax cuts, and attacking women's rights.
 
2012-09-21 12:24:46 PM
I don't know if this is a recent phenomenon, but if you look at comments on news sites about polling data that puts Democrats ahead, there are always conservatives declaring how they don't trust the methodology or results of these polls. The pollsters must have a liberal bias. It shouldn't surprise me, given Republicans long-standing refusal to accept incontrovertible facts, but it makes their delusions even sadder when polls are (apparently) already skewed in their favor.
 
2012-09-21 12:26:50 PM

TheSelphie: No s****. Only baby boomers and old people have landlines anymore. So of course they're going to be skewed towards Romney, since they're the only people who are actually going to vote for Romney.


Rasmussen polls: when you absolutely must know what bored old people are thinking.
 
2012-09-21 12:27:23 PM

TheSelphie: No s****. Only baby boomers and old people have landlines anymore. So of course they're going to be skewed towards Romney, since they're the only people who are actually going to vote for Romney.

/note: by "only" I mean "mostly" but this is Fark


Hey, I still have a standard phone. Not officially a "landline", only because it's technically VOIP, but I prefer to use it over my cell whenever possible. Talking on a tiny, flat slab of glass that gets progressively hotter and can't be cradled between your head and shoulder sucks.I prefer a normal phone whenever possible, but since it's Ooma, not a line through Quest or anything, I'm not sure how it counts.
 
2012-09-21 12:28:36 PM

TheSelphie: Sergeant Grumbles: TheSelphie: Only baby boomers and old people have landlines anymore.

They're the only ones with the luxury of being able to stay in one place long enough to make it worthwhile. The rest of us have to worry about lay-offs every time a VP sneezes or rent rising $90/yr because "fark you" and we need to constantly move around.

/last 9 years, only lived in the same place for 2 years at the longest
//moved 6 times in the last year

That's not really it for me. I'm not paying extra for a landline when 95% of the people who call are my mom and spam.


Mine is $3.50/month.
 
2012-09-21 12:28:55 PM

Tenga: RealClearPolitics polling averages and Infrared odds. Why look at anything else?


I prefer ultraviolet.
 
2012-09-21 12:32:11 PM
Smeggysmurf

Registered democrats well outnumber Republicans, and have for a long time. Heck, even in 2010 Democrats outnumbered Republicans at the polls - it was just that the "democrats" didn't all vote that way and Republicans won the independent vote, so Republican candidates won big.

The south, with its ancestral white democrats who never vote democrat federally, skews the numbers.
 
2012-09-21 12:36:28 PM

TheSelphie: Sergeant Grumbles: TheSelphie: Only baby boomers and old people have landlines anymore.

They're the only ones with the luxury of being able to stay in one place long enough to make it worthwhile. The rest of us have to worry about lay-offs every time a VP sneezes or rent rising $90/yr because "fark you" and we need to constantly move around.

/last 9 years, only lived in the same place for 2 years at the longest
//moved 6 times in the last year

That's not really it for me. I'm not paying extra for a landline when 95% of the people who call are my mom and spam.



For me the idea of paying for two phone lines seems silly. There is no benefit, it's a waste of money.
 
2012-09-21 12:41:29 PM
Did anyone actually read the article?

Stupid question, I know, but in the end it had nothing to do with phones.

The people who voted one guy were more motivated to fill in the straw ballot than the people who voted for the other guy.

I know, you have to read all the way to the end of the article and that can be tiresome.
 
2012-09-21 12:44:58 PM

lennavan: Also, the phone polls are hilarious. The last one I took spent the first 2 minutes telling me how terrible the economy and taxes were before asking me which of three types of taxes I wanted to reduce most. Either that was a Rasmussen poll, or it wasn't a poll, it was a GOP advertisement pretending to be a poll.


Classic "Push Poll".
 
2012-09-21 12:55:41 PM
I have never owned a land-line, I have never been called on my cell phone and I have never missed voting in an election.

/Millennial
 
2012-09-21 01:00:04 PM

lennavan: HeartBurnKid: As someone who is, myself, young, I'm the only person I know who has anything approaching a landline -- and that's a VOIP line from T-Mobile, so the polling firms would probably exclude it as a cell.

I've gotten at least 5 political poll phone calls on my cell phone in the last 2 weeks. What am I missing here?


Not all polls exclude cell phones anymore. Some do, and those ones tend to lean more Republican, as TFA mentions.

Also, the phone polls are hilarious. The last one I took spent the first 2 minutes telling me how terrible the economy and taxes were before asking me which of three types of taxes I wanted to reduce most. Either that was a Rasmussen poll, or it wasn't a poll, it was a GOP advertisement pretending to be a poll.

Sounds like the latter. I think you got push-polled.
 
2012-09-21 01:00:41 PM

BarkingUnicorn: "Obama seems to do better in live-interview polls, while Romney benefits from automated polls."

Romney fans enjoy talking to robots. Makes sense.


Came here to snicker about this too.

/we should hang out
 
2012-09-21 01:02:57 PM

HellRaisingHoosier: I have never owned a land-line, I have never been called on my cell phone and I have never missed voting in an election.

/Millennial


I don't get them too often, but I'm also a white male registered Democrat.

My wife used to get them all the time, at least until she told the nice lady on the end that the questions she was being asked were exceptionally misleading and that none of the responses were what she wanted to answer.
 
2012-09-21 01:09:10 PM
This video is quite obligatory. One of my favorite scenes from King Of 
Queens.

Link
 
2012-09-21 01:22:40 PM
Good statisticians should have cauth the mistake

Best...part...ever...
 
2012-09-21 01:37:43 PM

HeartBurnKid: lennavan: HeartBurnKid: As someone who is, myself, young, I'm the only person I know who has anything approaching a landline -- and that's a VOIP line from T-Mobile, so the polling firms would probably exclude it as a cell.

I've gotten at least 5 political poll phone calls on my cell phone in the last 2 weeks. What am I missing here?

Not all polls exclude cell phones anymore. Some do, and those ones tend to lean more Republican, as TFA mentions.

Also, the phone polls are hilarious. The last one I took spent the first 2 minutes telling me how terrible the economy and taxes were before asking me which of three types of taxes I wanted to reduce most. Either that was a Rasmussen poll, or it wasn't a poll, it was a GOP advertisement pretending to be a poll.

Sounds like the latter. I think you got push-polled.


Apparently. I've never been barraged with phone calls like this before, seems my previous cell phone numbers weren't on lists. I didn't even know push polling existed until today, nice to know I saw right through it.
 
2012-09-21 02:24:06 PM

Churchy LaFemme: Yep Phone polls are notoriously inaccurate.

And then throw in the fact that I lie on every phone poll because: a. They waste my time and b. I receive no monetary benefit from taking a survey while the surveyor profits greatly from my time. So that doesn't help with the accuracy.

Yes, I'm a petty ass.


Then I am, also. When I do bother to give these people the time of day, I will lie -- and then tell them at the end that "Maybe I don't really believe all those things I told you."
 
2012-09-21 02:36:37 PM

lennavan: I've gotten at least 5 political poll phone calls on my cell phone in the last 2 weeks. What am I missing here?


It is apparently against Federal law to poll somebody using an automated method (press one if you are voting for the Democrat, etc.) on a cell phone; instead, you need to use an actual person. Rasmussen for instance uses only automated methods (because it's cheaper). This may be one of the reasons they skew Republican.
 
2012-09-21 02:55:34 PM

Just some Freeperville tid bits.

Yup. Obama is the one having a baaaad week not Romney. Let's review:

Caught in lie/spin about the 9/11 terror attack - forced now to backtrack;
Jobless news still grim;
Polls showing IN, NC gone and CO, NH ready to fall also.

For those of us who were there, the election of 1980 was a real nail-biter, because the media kept telling us that Reagan couldn't possibly win and the polls seemed to confirm it!
As it turned out, that was all wishful thinking (and an attempt to discourage the conservative vote) by the Leftists.
Reagan creamed Carter.

Barring election fraud on a massive scale, Romney should win handily.

 
2012-09-21 03:56:14 PM
Don't they account for these sort of demographic issues anyway by scaling the votes of those they do contact in certain groups underrepresented by phone lines (or by chance, etc.)? So it probably increases the error bars of their results, but it wouldn't consistently skew it in either direction (assuming they use the right weightings).
 
2012-09-21 04:00:12 PM

fracto: TheSelphie: Sergeant Grumbles: TheSelphie: Only baby boomers and old people have landlines anymore.

They're the only ones with the luxury of being able to stay in one place long enough to make it worthwhile. The rest of us have to worry about lay-offs every time a VP sneezes or rent rising $90/yr because "fark you" and we need to constantly move around.

/last 9 years, only lived in the same place for 2 years at the longest
//moved 6 times in the last year

That's not really it for me. I'm not paying extra for a landline when 95% of the people who call are my mom and spam.


For me the idea of paying for two phone lines seems silly. There is no benefit, it's a waste of money.


I'm an oldster (50) for Fark. I have a land line. It's part of my internet bundle, and it saves me money. I work out of my home. I VPN into other servers, and I frequently talk long distance for work purposes (during daylight hours when cell rates are higher). I have a cheap cell phone that I use like a pay phone. I use it for emergencies only. It costs me about $7 a month. Mr. H uses is cell more frequently. His package is $45/month for unlimited talk, text, and data. Our land line costs us an extra $25 a month for unlimited local and long distance, and it's all anytime minutes. That's $77/month for two people. (I have an iPod touch, which does all the smart phone stuff except calling - and it will do that, too, if you Skype.)

Now, will politely ask you to stop trampling my grass.
 
2012-09-21 04:09:13 PM

xria: Don't they account for these sort of demographic issues anyway by scaling the votes of those they do contact in certain groups underrepresented by phone lines (or by chance, etc.)? So it probably increases the error bars of their results, but it wouldn't consistently skew it in either direction (assuming they use the right weightings).


That's been the conventional wisdom. TFM is saying that landline polls still skew Republican even after the demographic adjustment are incorporated.
 
2012-09-21 04:17:10 PM

Geotpf: lennavan: I've gotten at least 5 political poll phone calls on my cell phone in the last 2 weeks. What am I missing here?

It is apparently against Federal law to poll somebody using an automated method (press one if you are voting for the Democrat, etc.) on a cell phone; instead, you need to use an actual person. Rasmussen for instance uses only automated methods (because it's cheaper). This may be one of the reasons they skew Republican.


Do you have a source/link? I'm honestly interested. Because I'm sure that push poll I got was automated. Might be funny to provide them with the law next time the call.
 
2012-09-21 04:38:20 PM
The results will still be the same as '36. For the Republicans anyway.
 
2012-09-21 05:53:17 PM

lennavan: Geotpf: lennavan: I've gotten at least 5 political poll phone calls on my cell phone in the last 2 weeks. What am I missing here?

It is apparently against Federal law to poll somebody using an automated method (press one if you are voting for the Democrat, etc.) on a cell phone; instead, you need to use an actual person. Rasmussen for instance uses only automated methods (because it's cheaper). This may be one of the reasons they skew Republican.

Do you have a source/link? I'm honestly interested. Because I'm sure that push poll I got was automated. Might be funny to provide them with the law next time the call.


Political robocalling is illegal to cell phones, but Oregon took it a step further and made it illegal to landlines too.

On the other hand, if a political survey company calls and there's a person on the other end of the line, well that's legal. Political polls conducted that way don't fall under the telemarketing rules (do not call list) since they're not selling anything. However, you can ask the person to put you on their internal do-not-call list.

And I'm speaking from personal experience since I happen to work for a company that performs political, customer satisfaction & market research surveys, plus opinion polls.
 
2012-09-21 06:02:50 PM

Bathia_Mapes: lennavan: Geotpf: lennavan: I've gotten at least 5 political poll phone calls on my cell phone in the last 2 weeks. What am I missing here?

It is apparently against Federal law to poll somebody using an automated method (press one if you are voting for the Democrat, etc.) on a cell phone; instead, you need to use an actual person. Rasmussen for instance uses only automated methods (because it's cheaper). This may be one of the reasons they skew Republican.

Do you have a source/link? I'm honestly interested. Because I'm sure that push poll I got was automated. Might be funny to provide them with the law next time the call.

Political robocalling is illegal to cell phones, but Oregon took it a step further and made it illegal to landlines too.

On the other hand, if a political survey company calls and there's a person on the other end of the line, well that's legal. Political polls conducted that way don't fall under the telemarketing rules (do not call list) since they're not selling anything. However, you can ask the person to put you on their internal do-not-call list.

And I'm speaking from personal experience since I happen to work for a company that performs political, customer satisfaction & market research surveys, plus opinion polls.


I was working for a company like that when the DNC list went into effect, and yes, that's the truth. Although I don't think my company kept an internal DNC list; the best we could do was kill your number from a particular study's sample.

/political polls were always my favorite
//it was fun getting to hear people's views on candidates and issues and what not
///plus, people are significantly less yelly when you tell them you're polling on behalf of the Times than when you give them some market research company's name.
 
2012-09-21 07:01:28 PM

HeartBurnKid: Bathia_Mapes: lennavan: Geotpf: lennavan: I've gotten at least 5 political poll phone calls on my cell phone in the last 2 weeks. What am I missing here?

It is apparently against Federal law to poll somebody using an automated method (press one if you are voting for the Democrat, etc.) on a cell phone; instead, you need to use an actual person. Rasmussen for instance uses only automated methods (because it's cheaper). This may be one of the reasons they skew Republican.

Do you have a source/link? I'm honestly interested. Because I'm sure that push poll I got was automated. Might be funny to provide them with the law next time the call.

Political robocalling is illegal to cell phones, but Oregon took it a step further and made it illegal to landlines too.

On the other hand, if a political survey company calls and there's a person on the other end of the line, well that's legal. Political polls conducted that way don't fall under the telemarketing rules (do not call list) since they're not selling anything. However, you can ask the person to put you on their internal do-not-call list.

And I'm speaking from personal experience since I happen to work for a company that performs political, customer satisfaction & market research surveys, plus opinion polls.

I was working for a company like that when the DNC list went into effect, and yes, that's the truth. Although I don't think my company kept an internal DNC list; the best we could do was kill your number from a particular study's sample.

/political polls were always my favorite
//it was fun getting to hear people's views on candidates and issues and what not
///plus, people are significantly less yelly when you tell them you're polling on behalf of the Times than when you give them some market research company's name.


Indeed. We regularly do polls for some major news outlets (BTW-not Fox) and telling the respondents upfront who is doing the poll definitely increases the number of people willing to participate.
 
2012-09-21 07:36:55 PM

Bathia_Mapes: Political robocalling is illegal to cell phones, but Oregon took it a step further and made it illegal to landlines too.

On the other hand, if a political survey company calls and there's a person on the other end of the line, well that's legal. Political polls conducted that way don't fall under the telemarketing rules (do not call list) since they're not selling anything. However, you can ask the person to put you on their internal do-not-call list.

And I'm speaking from personal experience since I happen to work for a company that performs political, customer satisfaction & market research surveys, plus opinion polls.


HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!

Laws against robocalling, the Do Not Call list, etc., are f*cking worthless. We've had companies calling us for years after we went on the list. We've filed complaints with the FTC (with the names and phone numbers of the company) and nothing ever f*cking changes. Doesn't matter if we hang up, don't answer, answer and politely tell the people we are on the DNC list, answer and scream obscenities -- nothing ever f*cking changes.

I get 5-6 robocalls a day on my wireless. I can generally ignore them because they are coming from cities or area codes where I have no friends or acquaintances, but I still have to go to the trouble of getting the phone out of my pocket to look to see who's calling. Laws controlling telemarketing companies are a f*cking joke.
 
2012-09-22 03:32:11 AM

Speaker2Animals: I get 5-6 robocalls a day on my wireless


Jesus. What kind of stupid shiat did you sign up for that included your phone number? 5-6 a DAY? I've received one, EVER.
 
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