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Just something ive been wondering about a lot - Elena's Journal
elena
elena
Just something ive been wondering about a lot
Are polls skewed because many people only have cell phones?

The most common kinds of public opinion polls long have been conducted by calling a random sample of residential phones. This was OK when nearly every home had a phone, but in recent years a growing number of people, mostly young adults, have decided to use only a cell phone and do without a separate landline in their home.

It's possible to include cell phones in a poll sample, but it's expensive, difficult and seldom done. That means a growing number of cell-phone-only persons are generally not included, and their opinions are not reflected in the results we commonly see published.

...

Reasons to be Skeptical

We doubt that this study will be the last word on this subject, and we think the results of the Pew study include some good reasons to be somewhat skeptical of polling results in general. For one thing, the study illustrates that cell-only users tend to be very different from the landline sample. In the Pew study, the cell-only users tended to be:

* Young: 46 percent of the cell-only sample was in the 18 to 29 age group, compared with 12 percent for landline users.

* Male: Men made up 61 percent of the cell-only sample but only 48 percent of the landline sample.

* Less White: 19 percent of the cell-only sample was black, versus 11 percent for the landline sample. Asians made up 5 percent of the cell-only sample, versus 1 percent of the landline sample.

* More Hispanic: Hispanics (who can be of any race) were 13 percent of the cell-only sample compared with 6 percent of the landline sample.

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Comments
faisdodo From: faisdodo Date: November 4th, 2008 01:51 am (UTC) (Link)
i was just talking to my coworker about this today and hoping that the cell-only-masses skew towards Obama.
ob1quixote From: ob1quixote Date: November 4th, 2008 02:09 am (UTC) (Link)
FiveThirtyEight.com on "The Cellphone Effect". FYI, the new run of the model predicts a 1.9% chance that McCain will win the election, which is the same as saying there's a 1.9% chance that the polls are wrong.
druidveil From: druidveil Date: November 4th, 2008 03:10 am (UTC) (Link)
Polls are always skewed unless you ask everybody.
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