Thank you Ms. Holly Bailey for proving a theory of mine that I have had for so long. It was always confusing to me how the media would report on a poll and each party was quoting a completely different one. We now know why and how.
“A new analysis of 2010 election polling found that surveys that relied only on landline telephone users were more skewed toward Republicans, as opposed to polls that also included cell-phone users.” “According to the Pew Research Center , polls that included landlines gave Republicans a roughly 6-point boost compared with polls that included both landline and mobile phones.” “According to Pew, its landline-only surveys found the GOP with a 12-point lead in House races ahead of Election Day.” “But when cell-phone users were included, the Republican lead dropped to just 6 points – a result much closer to what actually happened on election night .” “According to Pew, “cell only” Americans tend to be younger voters, more likely to be black or Hispanic, less likely to be college grads and more Democratic in their vote preference than those reached by landlines.” (Bailey, Holly, 11/22/2010, The Ticket, GOP bias found in polls that skipped cell-phone users, Retrieved from www.news.yahoo.com )
So if a pollster wishes to evidence a GOP talking point all they have to do is call people with a landline to get the spread they desire and if Democrats wanted a poll which showed their position as that favored more by Americans, they also had to choose between the cell phone and the landline. Nothing like getting the numbers to say what you want them to say. In the number business many would call this “creative accounting” but I don’t know what they would call this. Maybe now our trusted journalist will stop relying on polls for their top stories and start asking more detail questions again? I know it’s a dream but maybe somewhere there are a few left who see their job as more informational than confrontational.
Either way, I think its time for pollsters to start asking the real questions revolving around whether the strategy of “no” is really working for either party or will there soon be a demand for civility. Our nation is bleeding and too many of us are spending too much time trying to find someone to blame instead of caring for the wound.