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Let's Rethink How We Poll in Prep for 2016
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Re: Not sure about NFC
  • 7/30/2014 6:36:26 PM
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the challenge is making sure the people polled represent the intended demographic.

Not sure this is a big challenge anymore.

Now that Smartphone Penetration Tops 65% of the US Mobile Market "People with smartphones" should be a more representative population than "people with land-line phones."

Re: Not sure about NFC
  • 7/30/2014 6:11:16 PM
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One additional thought - this could be an opportunity to measure multiple device usage or correlation - someone using a flipphone to respond while examining poll details online could be one analysis scenario.  Not 100%, but just thinking aloud.

Re: Not sure about NFC
  • 7/30/2014 6:09:52 PM
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Polls with smartphones are, er, smart. ;-) but I think the challenge is making sure the people polled represent the intended demographic. Not everyone has a smartphone, and some of the best respondents may have a simple flipphone or are limited on data.  The Polls should be planned to account for those who have smartphone alternatives.

Re: Poll fatigue
  • 7/30/2014 5:18:36 PM
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In re "wacky alternatives": That's what Facebook is for.

Seriously, you have to wonder how pollsters are going to respond to poll fatigue. Will they increase their margins of error? One you get beyond +/- 3%, you have to ask yourself why you're bothering to read (and why pollsters bother to regurgitate their flawed data).

Re: Poll fatigue
  • 7/30/2014 5:12:24 PM
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The effects of polling fatigue can probably run in two directions. Those polled and those reading the polls. Both group s are probably growing wearly of them, even alternative polls are probably going to wear oiut their welcome very soon. But for great entertainment, why not do some wacky alternatives?

Poll fatigue
  • 7/30/2014 1:30:46 PM
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Phone survey or Xbox polling... these are our only two choices?!?! ;->

Have the fair-haired boys at 538 considered there may be such a thing as Polling Fatigue? Especially for presidential elections, the temperature taking starts almost two years before the actual event. Whether you're from Iowa or Arizona, the "How you feeling now? Who you like now?" questions have to have some kind of impact after a very short while (and it's not good).

Re: Not sure about NFC
  • 7/30/2014 11:23:07 AM
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@James,

Maybe you're being a little idealistic. If we had a single, nation-wide primary - my concern is that most voters would make their decisions based on even less information than we do now.

Having a few "early primary" states allows people in those states to invest some time and energy to learn enough about the candidates to make the best decision.

Re: Not sure about NFC
  • 7/30/2014 9:26:55 AM
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@PredictableChaos, you are very much correct that polling companies always make subsequent contact. Engaging people is not easy, so they will return to a fruitful well as much as they can. Developing and using various avenues of procuring the needed data is crucial.

Re: Not sure about NFC
  • 7/29/2014 10:10:55 PM
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@Beth you spent 30 minutes on a phone survey!? You have more patience than me :)

Polling is moving much faster these days. I have set up many exit polls over the years. We used a hosted service that would scrub phone lists for members of the do not call registry. The service allowed you to record audio or use its robo voice to ask questions. Voters could answer question with a voice reply or a key press. The service made it possible to call hundreds of people within a few hours since it automatically called back if no answer. It was one of the systems I actually liked using while employed there.

Re: Not sure about NFC
  • 7/29/2014 3:58:12 PM
NO RATINGS

I'd rather do away with polling and restructure the electoral system so that polls -- even if done -- don't influence it. First, have a single primary for all states (this coming from someone who lives in the home of the  "First in the Nation" primary. Then, do 24-hour voting on election day using the time-zone equivalent of golf's "shotgun start" so that everyone can vote during the same 24-hour block no matter where they are in the US timezones.

I think it's a sin that we allow polls, exit polls, and key precincts to predict a winner when citizens to the west haven't had a chance to vote.

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