Free Republic
Browse · Search
Bloggers & Personal
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

WE ARE THE 91%: Only 9% of Americans Cooperate with Pollsters
PJ Tattler ^ | Sept 30, 2012 | Zombie

Posted on 10/01/2012 3:13:28 AM PDT by expat1000

WE ARE THE 91%: Only 9% of Americans Cooperate with Pollsters

by
Zombie

Bio

September 30, 2012 - 2:57 pm

Email
Print

One of the most amazing — and significant — statistics of this election season has gone almost completely unnoticed:

Only 9% of sampled households gave an answer to pollsters in 2012:

It has become increasingly difficult to contact potential respondents and to persuade them to participate. The percentage of households in a sample that are successfully interviewed – the response rate – has fallen dramatically. At Pew Research, the response rate of a typical telephone survey was 36% in 1997 and is just 9% today.

The general decline in response rates is evident across nearly all types of surveys, in the United States and abroad. At the same time, greater effort and expense are required to achieve even the diminished response rates of today. These challenges have led many to question whether surveys are still providing accurate and unbiased information.

You read that correctly: In any attempted poll or survey, only 9% of attempted contacts come back with an actual response.

That means 91% of sampled households are NOT having their opinions recorded by pollsters.

Breaking down the numbers a bit, we can see that this is due to two reasons: 38% of the households contacted were unreachable in the first place, leaving only a 62% “contact rate.” But among that 62%, only 14% “cooperated” with the pollsters; the remaining 86% of contactees presumably slammed down the phone or simply refused to answer. Since 86% of 62% of the population are non-cooperators, that leaves us with the astonishing conclusion that…

53% of Americans actively refuse to answer poll questions.

The real breakdown chart should look like this:

38% could not be reached
53% were contacted but actively refused to answer
9% cooperated and answered the polling questions

Or, put another way:

Out of every 7 people contacted by pollsters, only 1 will answer the polling question, while the remaining 6 refuse to answer.

Six to one, people; six to one. Think about that for a second.

What are those 53% thinking — and why would they purposely refuse to cooperate with pollsters?

Furthermore, where are those unreachable 38%? At work? On drugs? Curled up in a fetal position under the couch?

Pew goes on to claim that, despite the appallingly low cooperation rate in 2012, they think their estimates of public opinion are fairly accurate in any case.

That may have been true in past years, but we won’t know this year until after the election how accurate the polls were.

But now also consider these newly released stats showing that distrust of the media has hit an all-time high, and most importantly that Republicans and independents are twice as likely to distrust the media as Democrats:

There’s only one possible conclusion to reach: That the non-cooperating 86% of contactees are twice as likely to be Republicans and independents as they are to be Democrats.

This imputes a HUGE skew into all poll results, a skew that is rarely acknowledged.

Who are the 91%???

Are you one of them?

Did you miss a call from a pollster because you were at work?

Did you refuse to answer a question from a pollster, once contacted?

If so, why did you refuse?

Even if you don’t answer poll calls, do they record your non-response as support for Obama anyway?

We have the stats. Now let’s flesh them out with some anecdotes.


UPDATE:

Here’s a summary of some of the anecdotes and reasons for non-response from the comments section below; the number preceding each line is the number of commenters who cited that rationale:

13 – I have caller ID and never answer any call from any number that is either unknown or blocked.

12 – I do answer, but I often lie and give false answers, just to screw with them.

11 – I do not respond because I suspect that callers identifying themselves as “pollsters” are more likely telemarketers, fraudsters or deceptive political operatives engaged in “push-polling.”

9 – I do not cooperate because I consider the polling industry an arm of the biased media, trying to influence the electorate.

8 – I refuse to divulge any personal opinions or data to an anonymous stranger, who could be ill-intentioned for all I know.

6 – “Why should I waste my time talking to these people who will skew the results anyway?”

6 – I only answer calls from people I already know; if I accidentally answer a robo-call or a call from a stranger, I just hang up.

4 – I do not respond because of potential privacy violation, that pollsters can correlate my answers with my identity; “I fear that they will use my political beliefs against my family.”

3 – I’m among the 38% “unreachable” because I do not have a landline.

3 – I would answer calls from any pollster which I recognize from caller ID as being unbiased, but otherwise I don’t.

3 – It’s just a waste of time; I have better things to do with my life.

3 – I suspect that if I answer once, my number will be added to lists of positive respondents, precipitating more calls.

2 – After I burst out laughing when questioned if I supported Obama, the pollster hung up on me.

2 – I never used to answer pollsters, but recently I have started answering, to counter the inaccuracies in earlier polls.

2 – I’d only cooperate with pollsters if they compensated me for helping them.

1 – I hang up if I “don’t like the questions.”

1 – I don’t answer because I think that polls are a corrupting influence on public policy, that political decisions are based on poll results, not on what is actually best for the country.

1 – A pollster questioned me once. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.

4 – I refuse to cooperate with pollsters for all of the reasons above.



TOPICS: Government; Politics; Society
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 10/01/2012 3:13:32 AM PDT by expat1000
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: expat1000

That’s my new bumper sticker:
ROCK THE VOTE, LIE TO POLLSTERS


2 posted on 10/01/2012 3:20:13 AM PDT by AdaGray
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: AdaGray

I AM one of the 9%...but I ALWAYS lie. Pollsters are a blight on our political system. Only good for the finger in the air politicians or news media. Neither group curry’s much favor with me.


3 posted on 10/01/2012 3:38:26 AM PDT by Wingy (Don't blame me. I voted for the chick. I hope to do so again.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: expat1000
I have responded to two automated polls {touch 1 for this 2 for that} in one I was a black lesbian female between 18-30 with 4 kids, a registered demonRAT and was going to vote for Romney and in another, I was an undecided female Hispanic.

I know that most pollsters are only polling to elicit a specific result, not find out any real truth.

4 posted on 10/01/2012 3:40:19 AM PDT by USS Alaska (Nuke the terrorist savages, start today.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: AdaGray

Yesterday evening on the front page of the Columbus Dispatch were the results of their latest Ohio polling, thru Sept 29th. The results were 51/O 42/R.

After I puked a little in my mouth, I began to read the breakdown, methods etc.

The poll was registered voters and was mailed out across the state. 705 of the respondennts were D, 563 were R, 362 were I or other.

When they discussed potential errors, they described ‘Nonrespondent Bias’, as a possible source. What that means is the poll assumes that those who did not respond would have responded in the same way as those who did.
THE RESPONSE OF THIS POLL WAS 15%....that means 85% of the people who received this poll in the mail considered it junk mail. Now who do you think is more likely to toss aside political junk mail, especially from a liberal media outlet? Whose out there working and living and doesn’t have time to lay around the house and respond to polls?
This whole NONRESPONDENT BIAS is very intriguing to me. We don’t really hear much about it. I really think it could be one of the most overlooked errors in polling. JMHO


5 posted on 10/01/2012 3:44:04 AM PDT by BuckeyeGOP
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: AdaGray
Doesn't make any difference. According to pew the pollsters take what they get and hypothocate answers ~ which is why they are taking far more polls these days ~ less data is being made up with more contacts.

Next up will be data mining to estimate public opinion. it's feasible now and you can't get away with not answering. All the pollsters need are some correlations and that's the end of polling as we know it.

BTW, that fall off to 9% this year ought to bring a chill to the Obama and Romney campaign gurus. That means they are flying blind ~

The big money guys contributing to these two ought to also feel a chill ~ the public has veered off into some other direction and left them behind. If you can't even find out what public opinion really is these days then how are you going to control it with advertising?

6 posted on 10/01/2012 3:44:55 AM PDT by muawiyah
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: BuckeyeGOP
The problem has always been there ~ I do believe, given the lack of interest in it, that few FReepers ever gave "non responsive non respondent non responses" were of any concern, yet, at 85% or 91% they are actually controlling the reality of polling.

Chris Wallace probably laughed at the concept too, but this should put a chill in his britches if nothing else does.

If the public won't tell you what they think, then who will, and why? Are current polls better than prayer? Worse than prayer? No different than prayer? You be the judge.

7 posted on 10/01/2012 3:49:07 AM PDT by muawiyah
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: expat1000

My dad is one of them. He lies and says “Of course I’m voting for Obama.” Me - I don’t answer the phone or if I do, I hold ear piece away from my ear so their words don’t engage me and say, “Sorry not interested. Have a nice day.” as I am moving the phone back to the receiver. I’ve learned to not listen to them but make sure they hear me.


8 posted on 10/01/2012 3:49:28 AM PDT by This I Wonder32460
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: expat1000

I used to answer but the questions are so full of double negatives that it is clear they are tainted to one side. No longer respond.


9 posted on 10/01/2012 3:58:13 AM PDT by vet7279
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: expat1000

Pollsters = media = bottom feeding, election-manipulating Communist scum.


10 posted on 10/01/2012 4:00:06 AM PDT by who knows what evil? (G-d saved more animals than people on the ark...www.siameserescue.org.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: muawiyah
Next up will be data mining to estimate public opinion. it's feasible now and you can't get away with not answering. All the pollsters need are some correlations and that's the end of polling as we know it.

You just described the plot of Isaac Asimov's 1955 short story Franchise.


11 posted on 10/01/2012 4:12:17 AM PDT by Peet (Everything has an end -- only the sausage has two.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: USS Alaska
I know that most pollsters are only polling to elicit a specific result, not find out any real truth.

Actually, all pollsters are doing is selling a product (their poll). It's another aspect of the legacy media. Newspapers and other traditional media buy polls to fill column-inches so they have "news" to report, which is why the "polls" touted by the media have about as much relevance as horoscope columns: just more filler for an increasingly irrelevant business model.

I'm definitely in the 91%. My landline number serves only as a bit-bucket for unwanted calls. It's never answered and only people I know or do legitimate business with have my cell number.

12 posted on 10/01/2012 4:13:13 AM PDT by AustinBill (consequence is what makes our choices real)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Peet

OOPS! I should have said “premise” not “plot”.

Sorry.


13 posted on 10/01/2012 4:14:51 AM PDT by Peet (Everything has an end -- only the sausage has two.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: expat1000

14 posted on 10/01/2012 4:47:05 AM PDT by Travis McGee (www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: expat1000

I don’t trust them to be who they say they are. I’m not giving my opinion or any other personal data to an unknown.

Politicians and others put way too much faith in polls. The only poll that matters is the election. The other polls are based on a non-representative segment of the population.

The answers to polls are based on the EMOTIONAL response of the person at the moment. They are not based on any REASONED opinion. But then, neither are the elections!


15 posted on 10/01/2012 4:59:02 AM PDT by I want the USA back
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: expat1000
I don't cooperate generally however last week I received a call and was curious as to what the questions would be. Approximately a minute into to the survey it became obvious to the caller that I was conservative across the board. They abruptly hung up. How do you suppose my answers were recorded?
16 posted on 10/01/2012 4:59:11 AM PDT by JIM O
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: expat1000

I told a pollster I’d be voting for Jack the Ripper.
No more calls...


17 posted on 10/01/2012 5:54:22 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks (In the game of life, there are no betting limits)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: expat1000

This research from the Pew Institute is a HUGE shut-down of all these poll articles and stories throughout the country.

Use it in comment sections in your local papers that are pushing these polls.
(use the Pew Institute link - less ‘partisan’ than PJ)


18 posted on 10/01/2012 6:00:29 AM PDT by libertarian27 (Check my profile page for the FReeper Online Cookbook 2011)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: expat1000

I guess I’m not among a very few who decline to be polled; apparently I’ve got lots of company.


19 posted on 10/01/2012 6:46:50 AM PDT by JimRed (Excise the cancer before it kills us; feed &water the Tree of Liberty! TERM LIMITS, NOW & FOREVER!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: expat1000
On the house phone I don't answer any number I don't recognize, name unavailable etc. My MIL lives with us. She is diabetic and on Medicare. 99% of those calls are someone trying to sell diabetic supplies. On the cell phone I answer everything because clients call that number when they get no answer on the office phone. I've been polled twice on the cell phone by a conservative superpac. My guess is they have my phone number either thru a political contribution or membership in some conservative organization.
20 posted on 10/01/2012 6:49:39 AM PDT by Roses0508
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: JimRed

>>I guess I’m not among a very few who decline to be polled; apparently I’ve got lots of company.

I feel a lot better seeing responses like yours. I initially had my doubts that it is indeed mostly conservatives and undecideds that are refusing, but they are being dispelled.


21 posted on 10/01/2012 7:30:05 AM PDT by expat1000
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: expat1000; administrator
Dupe. Already posted yesterday. You need to do a search before posting to avoid duplicate threads.
22 posted on 10/01/2012 8:01:30 AM PDT by PJ-Comix (Beware the Rip in the Space/Time Continuum)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: expat1000

I am in Michigan and easily get 1-2 sometimes 3 calls a day. They are all automated recorded calls. I hang up on every single one. If a human being called me I might participate. Don’t want to be rude to a human.


23 posted on 10/01/2012 9:41:00 AM PDT by MomwithHope (Buy and read Ameritopia by Mark Levin!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Bloggers & Personal
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson