In states that had already had a primary or caucus, 44% of respondents to a survey said they had received a robo-call from a candidate.
Robo-Candidate. Sounds like a bad movie.
And people listen to these things, at least some of them do. In Iowa, of those who received such calls, over one-third said they listened to the message. Only 19% of New Hampshire respondents said they listened. Granite ears.
As people flee news for entertainment, as the circulation of newspapers and television news dwindles, there are only a couple of ways to reach those trying to tune out of the political process. One is political advertising. Robo-calls are another. It'd be interesting to know if people learn from such calls and, if so, what they learn?
Other than to change their number.
A lot of states are looking to ban robo-calls, including my own Georgia. I'm not sure that'll happen, or even if it's a good idea, but I'm like everyone else in finding the things an annoyance. My congressman won't leave me alone, even after being elected. I got robo-called the other day with earth-shattering useless info as he sucks up long before it's time to run again.
Maybe we need a robo-callback, complete with foghorn.
But on what people know, I suspect these calls provide very little in terms of knowledge. People are awfully distracted when they pick up the phone, and a robo-call probably puts them into a mode of even less attention. There may even be a backlash effect (worth studying!!). But as these increase, I hope someone takes them on from a research perspective.