Cell Phones Change Polling Landscape

USA_Flag.jpgHistorically, when polling citizens as part of a presidential election, pollsters would call people at their homes. As CNET News‘s Ina Fried writes, that process is beginning to shift, now that an increasing number of young adults don’t have landlines—and it’s showing up in the results.

“The difference can be significant, as pointed out by a Pew research study last month,” Fried wrote. “The organization conducted three separate polls—in June, August, and September. Each time, the difference between cell phone users and landline voters represented at least a 10-point swing (in Barack Obama’s favor among cell phone respondents). The blended result was obviously more muted, but still showed a meaningful bump for Obama as compared with landline-only polling.”

This effect isn’t new; it’s been on the radar screens for a few years now. But it’s interesting that it hasn’t been resolved yet.