Numbers Don't Lie Until They Do

December 26, 2015

While Gallup’s inaccuracies came as a shock to the political community, they are representative of a bigger problem: the inaccuracies of phone polling, which have only gotten worse. Traditional polling by landline phone has grown more difficult as fewer people are responding to phone surveys; yet, there are still no solid alternatives to phone polling.

Today, landline responses have dropped to eight percent, Considering that only 18 years ago the response rate was 36 percent, this decline in response rate is disturbing. One poll can cost up to five figures, a price that is only going up as response rates go down. According to Cliff Zukin, professor of political science at Rutgers University and former president of the American Association for Public Opinion Research, the lack of response is growing because people are “tired of being solicited on the phone. … As more and more people have grown up and only known cell phones, they figured that if the landline rings in their household, it can’t be for them, it’s a solicitation.”

Harvard Political Review, December 26

Recent Posts

Kelly O’Brien (MCRP ’09) Named Fairfax City Hometown Hero

On July 15th, Kelly O'Brien (MCRP '09)  was recognized as a Hometown Hero during Fox 5 DC's Zip Trip visit to Fairfax City. "Although I don't think of myself as a hero, I am grateful for the chance to express my dedication to serving my community and shed light on the...

Winecoff: Working Paper on Health Insurance Enrollment

Spillovers in Public Benefit Enrollment: How does Expanding Public Health Insurance for Working-Age Adults affect Future Health Insurance Choices? Abstract Enrollment in one public benefit program often affects enrollment in others. We study life-course spillovers by...

$21.1 million Awarded for the Safe Routes to School Program

The Murphy Administration announced $21.1 million for 23 grants under the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program on July 10, 2024. The New Jersey Safe Routes to School Program, supported by the New Jersey Department of Transportation, is a statewide initiative with a...

Deanna Moran Named MA Chief Coastal Resilience Officer

Deanna Moran, AICP (MPP/MCRP '16) was named the Chief Coastal Resilience Officer by the Healey-Driscoll Administration to address climate change impacts along Massachusetts’ coastline. Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Rebecca Tepper announced Deanna...

Voorhees Transportation Center seeks new Executive Director

The Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center (VTC) seeks a new Executive Director who will oversee the center’s research program, technical services and other initiatives, including external relations, communications, business development, and fundraising. The Executive...

Upcoming Events

Event Series CAREERS

Virtual Career Drop-ins


Stop by virtually on Mondays (except for holidays) beginning September 9th through December 16th between 11 am and 1 pm to ask a quick (15 min) career-related question of Bloustein […]