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Friday, April 18, 2014

News Polls in Decline

As we note in our textbook, this trend complicates life for pollsters.

TOP TALKER – “As polls vanish, so do clues about 2014,” by Steven Shepard, editor of POLITICO’s new Campaign Pro: “The last reliable nonpartisan poll on the [Arkansas Senate] race was conducted in October … Good polling is becoming increasingly scarce, walloped by shrinking newsroom budgets and the soaring costs of conducting surveys. … FiveThirtyEight … launched with a clarion call: ‘Somebody Poll a Senate Race.’ … Over a 15-year period, the completion rate for Pew’s pollsters … fell from 36 percent in 1997 to just 9 percent in 2012.
The main reason is the migration to cellphones. It’s more expensive and time-consuming to call cellphones because they cannot be dialed by a computer, per FCC regulations. … Cash-strapped news outlets are increasingly turning to less-expensive survey methods — like automated-phone and Internet polling … And campaigns and partisan groups are more than happy to fill the void and constant news cycle with numbers that are often more favorable toward their candidate.” Free to Pros