Cell Phones and Polling

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by abijnk, Nov 2, 2008.

  1. abijnk macrumors 68040


    Oct 15, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    I've seen several comments around here on how cell phones might affect the poling in this years election. Well, Nate Silver over on 538 put up a nice post about it, and I thought it would be fun to discuss here.

    Cell Phone Effect

    There are a few other posts on this, but this one contains more recent polls. You can see his other posts here.

  2. CalBoy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2007
    There's no question that younger voters are both more likely to support Obama and not have a landline.

    The question is, will they show up on the Fourth?
  3. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    There are so many potential questions that remain about the final turnout and eventual vote, including cellphone voters who may not have been polled. Marc Ambinder put together his list of known unknowns:

  4. jplan2008 macrumors regular

    Feb 15, 2008
    When I'm not paranoid about a McCain upset, I'm pretty encouraged by the early voting stats in early-voting battlegrounds, especially the ones that show party ID. These are actual voters. We don't know how they voted, but all polls show pretty similar support for candidates along party lines, and at least a small advantage for Obama among independents. The undecided voters aren't the early voters -- even if they go in large numbers for McCain, I don't see how he can make up the ground he needs in some of these places. Colorado looks a little close, but in Florida, where the site shows the party ID of early voting (absentee and in-person) in 2004 and so far in 2008: in 2004 Republicans were nearly 3 points ahead in early voting. In 2008, Democrats have nearly an 8-point lead. And 54% of the total 2004 votes are already included in tose numbers. New Mexico and Nevada have even bigger percentages (of total 2004 vote) of early totals, and near 2-1 advantages for Democrats.

  5. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

    Feb 14, 2004
    OBJECTIVE reality
    Y'all beat me to it, girl, posting that chart. :D

    It certainly suggests the possibility of victory margin greater than earlier thought -- more like a blowout.

    And if those polls prove more correct than the traditional ones, obviously that'll be the end of traditional polls. They'll all be including cell phones. They'll have to. They trade on their credibility and accuracy.
  6. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    I think, sadly, many of those questions will remain unanswerable for some time, just because the sample size of one election is too small to extrapolate.

    But it is going to be interesting tomorrow.

    As for the cell phones, that's a trend for which I see no likely sign of reversal. I honestly have not thought once about getting a landline phone since I ditched mine in 2004.
  7. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Jul 16, 2002
    Right. I've been thinking about the Excessive Analysis Effect -- too many imponderables are being identified and tagged. It may give the talking heads on the cable stations something to yak about 24/7, but I don't see much light being shed.

    The impact of mobile phones on polling is an interesting issue, though, if only because it's a parallel to why the pollsters had Dewey beating Truman in 1948. Back then, only the more affluent had telephones, so the phone polls were biased towards the Republican.

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