Tuesday, January 13, 2009

What People Think, and Know

Finding out what people think or know is becoming harder and harder, according to a Pew report.

A federal study found 18 percent of households are cell only, no landline. Exit polls in the last election found 20 percent of those interviewed say they have no landline. And those with a landline have become largely unreachable by that method.

So it becomes more difficult to gauge public opinion, to ask what people think, or what people know.

Are we reaching a representative sample with traditional telephone surveys? If we use cell (mobile) phones, how do we do that? Will political robo-calls, like telemarketing, cause people to ignore our requests for them to offer opinions on the issues of the day?

Polls matter. How else do we judge what people really think rather than what politicians or special interests say they think?

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