Words of Advice:

"Never Feel Sorry For Anyone Who Owns an Airplane."-- Tina Marie

If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It.
" -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot,
by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse.
" -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Who Was Supplying Kool-Aid to the GOP?

The Gallup polling folks. They had a 7% bias towards Romney.

By "bias", I mean the statistical kind, not the bigoted kind.

The problem, of course, is that polling done by telephone tends to reach people with landlines. Technology is changing, more and more people only have cell phones, and this seems to be especially true of younger and poorer voters. Traditional polling doesn't reach them.

This is not a new problem. In 1936, the Literary Digest poll predicted a landslide for Alf Landon. But they sampled three groups: Their subscribers, car owners and telephone users-- which meant that they were sampling people who had disposable income in the depths of the Great Depression. You probably remember that FDR won handily, 60% of the popular vote and all but two states (ME and VT).

This election ought to be a wake-up call for Gallup and the other big pollsters,


Bustednuckles said...

Also, take into consideration people like me, who have a landline, but also have caller ID and won't even bother to answer the phone if I don't recognize the number calling.

BadTux said...

Oddly enough, that article says that Gallup *did* sample cell phones as well as landlines. So either they didn't sample enough cell phones, or something else hinky was up with them.

IllanoyGal said...

You know, a couple of months ago, I began to notice that polls were showing a swing toward Rmoney and, needless to say, that bugged me. So I decided to start responding to the calls. It gave me great pleasure to tell the pollster that I would be voting for President Obama if the election were held that day. It was delightful to be able to say that Maizie Hirono was my choice for US Senator from Hawaii. To be able to assure that caller that Lingle and Djou were not even on my radar for any public office, just made my day. I'm sure you can tell that I'm quite happy about the election results. So, come 2014, I'll be answering those phone calls. It gets to be fun after a while.

OldRetiredDude said...

I hung up on every poll, and there were many! I wonder if it just boils down to the same lonely people who are so starved for contact that they take poll after poll?