For years now the stats people–Nate Silver at Fivethirtyeight, for example–have been talking about how using only landlines to poll people about their voting intentions will skew the polls with so many people using cell phones preferentially now, undercounting certain demographics (particularly young ones).
Well, apparently 2014 is the year they decided to fix it: in addition to the five calls from pollsters I’ve gotten on my landline this week, I’ve gotten two on my cell. Whee. So now in addition to badgering me about my gubernatorial preferences when I’m trying to eat dinner at home, they can do it when I’m in a restaurant or in line at the grocery store, the pharmacy, the post office.
This is not what I call progress.
I don’t answer questions from pollsters anyway (typical conversation: “Are you likely to vote in the November 4 election?” “Yes, and that’s all I’m going to tell you about my vote”), so this is very much in the “waste of time and annoys the pig” category.
(I think I’ve said this before, but just in case the reference is missing: my grandpa had two categories of time waster, teaching a pig to sing–the most commonly cited one–and teaching a pig to wrestle. The former is a waste of your time and annoys the pig. The latter is a waste of your time, and the pig enjoys it.)
I can’t help but think that the politicians won’t be motivated to have any kind of call blocking list available for pollsters as for telemarketers, as they want the data too much. But it sure would be nice.