Is Rising Number of Cell Phones Lowering Reliability of Polls?
A recent study by the Pew Research Center finds that cell-only Americans – an estimated 7%-9% of the general public – are significantly different in many ways from those reachable on a landline. They are younger, less affluent, less likely to be married or to own their home, and more liberal on many political questions.
The study concludes that “despite these differences, the absence of this group from traditional telephone surveys has only a minimal impact on the results. Specifically, the study shows that including cell-only respondents with those interviewed from a standard landline sample, and weighting the resulting combined sample to the full U.S. public demographically, changes the overall results of the poll by no more than one percentage point on any of nine key political questions included in the study.”