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Cell phone users being left out of political telephone polling process
Posted: 22-Oct-2004 [Source: Mobile Tech News]

[A new survey from CEA looks at the growing impact on political polling outcomes as more and more people are inaccessible due to giving up their landline phone service in favor of cell phone service only.]

By Jean Panke -- A new report from the Consumer Electronics Association shows that as many as eight million US households have been left out of the political polling process. This is primarily due to people disconnecting from landline phones and moving to cell phones as their primary telephone service.

CEA conducted an on-line survey from October 2 through October 5. Of the 568 respondents to their survey, only 10 percent of likely voters with cell phone only service had been solicited by a political polling group in the last 60 days. In comparison, nearly 30 percent of consumers with traditional landline service were similarly polled.

Another factor noted to be affecting polling outcomes is the growing practice of screening calls. Democrats were shown to be more likely to screen their calls (44% and 27% respectively) than Republicans. Interestingly, Republicans were shown to be 25% more likely to have responded to a poll than Democrats even though they appear to be contacted in equal numbers. In addition, Democrat cell phone users who also have a traditional landline phone are 46% more likely than Republicans (25% and 24% respectively) to answer most of their incoming calls at home using their cell phones.

Demographics also shift when looking at the cell-phone only group (37% in comparison to 28% of all likely voters). They tend to identify themselves as Independent or have no political affiliation, younger by nearly half, likely to be single, employed part-time or not at all (mostly students) and have lower average incomes.

Basically, the survey finds Republicans more likely to respond to political phone polls while Democrats are more likely to screen their calls and answer most of their home calls using a cell phone.

Note: It's important to remember that on-line survey's do not meet the rigors of scientific measurement. However, fun and interesting bits of contemporary culture can be gleaned from them. Cheers!

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