Food for Thought on Polling

 

A friend of mine sent me this link to a National Review article on polling. Two key takeaways from the article:

Another factor, is that “conservatives are less likely to participate in polls in general,” he says. “We see a five-to-one refusal rate among conservatives.” That means “you’ve got to work very hard to get a fair representation of conservatives, when you do any kind of a survey.”

And this:

One problem with weighting is that Republicans “who don’t like Trump can’t wait to answer a poll,” he says. “So immediately, within the 22 percent, they’ve probably overrepresented it, the anti-Trump Republicans, the Never Trumper types. Well, when you weight that up from 22 to 35, now you have skewed an already bad representation sample. So that’s kind of inherently how they can be so off.”

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  1. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    His approach to polling makes sense to me! And also explains why other kinds of polls are deficient. Thanks, Stad.

    • #1
  2. Max Ledoux Coolidge
    Max Ledoux
    @Max

    It is true, the two polls I have ever taken (in my entire life) started like this:

    **Brrrrrrrngggggggg***

    Me: Hello?

    Pollster: Hi, I’m a pollster, could you answer a few questions? It will take 25-30 minutes.

    Me: Let’s do this. I work from home, have no children, and would crawl through a pit of snakes to vote for Trump

    • #2
  3. EB Thatcher
    EB
    @EB

    From his lips to you-know-who’s ear.

    • #3
  4. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    Red Eagle Politics has been talking about this for months and showing alternative data looking at early voting, Trafalgar, new voter registration and other metrics. He’s a college student from Michigan. Here is his latest video Biden Claims the Race is Close:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAVmrVpL_Wo

    And his channel on youtube where he has been asserting the claims for several months:

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0SMGmU6X9zJBGCGarr7ODQ

    • #4
  5. katievs Inactive
    katievs
    @katievs

    I almost can’t bring myself to click on an NRO link these days. Me. A once-Never-Trumper.

    • #5
  6. JustmeinAZ Member
    JustmeinAZ
    @JustmeinAZ

    I think he’s right about conservatives and answering polls. I always just hang up because I presume the questions will be loaded.

    • #6
  7. MWD B612 "Dawg" Member
    MWD B612 "Dawg"
    @danok1

    Max Ledoux (View Comment):

    It is true, the two polls I have ever taken (in my entire life) started like this:

    **Brrrrrrrngggggggg***

    Me: Hello?

    Pollster: Hi, I’m a pollster, could you answer a few questions? It will take 25-30 minutes.

    Me: Let’s do this. I work from home, have no children, and would crawl through a pit of snakes to vote for Trump

    For me it goes:

    Me: Hello?

    Pollster: Hi, I’m a pollster, could you answer a few questions? It will take 25-30 minutes.

    Me: Hey, go ahead and lose this number, m’kay? That’d be super. (click)

    • #7
  8. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    MWD B612 "Dawg" (View Comment):

    Max Ledoux (View Comment):

    It is true, the two polls I have ever taken (in my entire life) started like this:

    **Brrrrrrrngggggggg***

    Me: Hello?

    Pollster: Hi, I’m a pollster, could you answer a few questions? It will take 25-30 minutes.

    Me: Let’s do this. I work from home, have no children, and would crawl through a pit of snakes to vote for Trump

    For me it goes:

    Me: Hello?

    Pollster: Hi, I’m a pollster, could you answer a few questions? It will take 25-30 minutes.

    Me: Hey, go ahead and lose this number, m’kay? That’d be super. (click)

    Really confused. You answer your phone if you don’t know who’s calling you?

    • #8
  9. JustmeinAZ Member
    JustmeinAZ
    @JustmeinAZ

    Hang On (View Comment):
    Really confused. You answer your phone if you don’t know who’s calling you?

    I do because too many medical offices now are not identified on caller ID. I once blocked my PCP because I didn’t recognize the number and they had to send me snail mail to communicate. Same with my mail-order pharmacies.

     

    • #9
  10. Hartmann von Aue Member
    Hartmann von Aue
    @HartmannvonAue

    Dratted paywall. I already hit my four free articles. 

    • #10
  11. WI Con Member
    WI Con
    @WICon

    I’m guessing every polling firm has that guy from AZ, Gary(?) on speed dial.

    • #11
  12. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    People who only answer calls from numbers they know, are going to miss calls from hospitals where a relative has been admitted or possibly died…

    They’ll miss calls from people they know who had to use someone else’s phone for some reason…

    All kinds of important stuff.

    About the only calls I just ignore, are those where I can see that some scammer is pretending to use a number similar to mine, in the hopes that I’ll believe it’s someone in my area…  I might still call them back, though, to verify that it was a spoof call.  “We’re sorry, the number you are calling is not in service.  Please check the number and try again.”

    • #12
  13. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    JustmeinAZ (View Comment):
    I once blocked my PCP because I didn’t recognize the number

    Guess it’s hard to get good PCP these days . . .

    • #13
  14. Sisyphus Member
    Sisyphus
    @Sisyphus

    kedavis (View Comment):

    People who only answer calls from numbers they know, are going to miss calls from hospitals where a relative has been admitted or possibly died…

    They’ll miss calls from people they know who had to use someone else’s phone for some reason…

    All kinds of important stuff.

    About the only calls I just ignore, are those where I can see that some scammer is pretending to use a number similar to mine, in the hopes that I’ll believe it’s someone in my area… I might still call them back, though, to verify that it was a spoof call. “We’re sorry, the number you are calling is not in service. Please check the number and try again.”

    That’s why we have voicemail.

    • #14
  15. JustmeinAZ Member
    JustmeinAZ
    @JustmeinAZ

    Stad (View Comment):

    JustmeinAZ (View Comment):
    I once blocked my PCP because I didn’t recognize the number

    Guess it’s hard to get good PCP these days . . .

    Ha, ha. Primary Care Physician. 

    • #15
  16. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Sisyphus (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    People who only answer calls from numbers they know, are going to miss calls from hospitals where a relative has been admitted or possibly died…

    They’ll miss calls from people they know who had to use someone else’s phone for some reason…

    All kinds of important stuff.

    About the only calls I just ignore, are those where I can see that some scammer is pretending to use a number similar to mine, in the hopes that I’ll believe it’s someone in my area… I might still call them back, though, to verify that it was a spoof call. “We’re sorry, the number you are calling is not in service. Please check the number and try again.”

    That’s why we have voicemail.

    That’s what we do.  If it’s a number we don’t recognize, we don’t answer and let it go to voicemail.  If it’s a real call, they’ll leave a message.  We’ve only had a few scammers or spammers actually leave a message.  The only time it’s a problem is when we’re expecting a call from someone who’s not in our system yet.

    • #16
  17. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Sisyphus (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    People who only answer calls from numbers they know, are going to miss calls from hospitals where a relative has been admitted or possibly died…

    They’ll miss calls from people they know who had to use someone else’s phone for some reason…

    All kinds of important stuff.

    About the only calls I just ignore, are those where I can see that some scammer is pretending to use a number similar to mine, in the hopes that I’ll believe it’s someone in my area… I might still call them back, though, to verify that it was a spoof call. “We’re sorry, the number you are calling is not in service. Please check the number and try again.”

    That’s why we have voicemail.

    It’s a nice theory, but I know a lot of people who don’t check, and/or don’t delete old messages so then you get “The mail box is full.  *click*”

    Actually some of the biggest time-wasters are the people who don’t listen to your message, they just call back to ask what you wanted.

    • #17
  18. MWD B612 "Dawg" Member
    MWD B612 "Dawg"
    @danok1

    Hang On (View Comment):

    MWD B612 "Dawg" (View Comment):

    Max Ledoux (View Comment):

    It is true, the two polls I have ever taken (in my entire life) started like this:

    **Brrrrrrrngggggggg***

    Me: Hello?

    Pollster: Hi, I’m a pollster, could you answer a few questions? It will take 25-30 minutes.

    Me: Let’s do this. I work from home, have no children, and would crawl through a pit of snakes to vote for Trump

    For me it goes:

    Me: Hello?

    Pollster: Hi, I’m a pollster, could you answer a few questions? It will take 25-30 minutes.

    Me: Hey, go ahead and lose this number, m’kay? That’d be super. (click)

    Really confused. You answer your phone if you don’t know who’s calling you?

    Sometimes, when I’m dealing with some store, office, doctor, etc., on a limited basis. Not worth the trouble to set up a contact. So in those cases I’ll answer unknown numbers. Once I’m done with the store, office, etc., it stop answering unknown numbers.

    • #18
  19. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Stad (View Comment):

    Sisyphus (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    People who only answer calls from numbers they know, are going to miss calls from hospitals where a relative has been admitted or possibly died…

    They’ll miss calls from people they know who had to use someone else’s phone for some reason…

    All kinds of important stuff.

    About the only calls I just ignore, are those where I can see that some scammer is pretending to use a number similar to mine, in the hopes that I’ll believe it’s someone in my area… I might still call them back, though, to verify that it was a spoof call. “We’re sorry, the number you are calling is not in service. Please check the number and try again.”

    That’s why we have voicemail.

    That’s what we do. If it’s a number we don’t recognize, we don’t answer and let it go to voicemail. If it’s a real call, they’ll leave a message. We’ve only had a few scammers or spammers actually leave a message. The only time it’s a problem is when we’re expecting a call from someone who’s not in our system yet.

    We have a set-up with Spectrum, and somehow they track spam calls so that when one of those numbers tries to call us, it only rings once and stops–I love it! After a while the spammers will try new numbers, but Spectrum catches up and nails them. 

    • #19
  20. Annefy Member
    Annefy
    @Annefy

    I had a horrible experience with a customer on Friday afternoon. He called about a shipment; yelled over and over how I never called him. Huh, I said. I’ve left you several voicemails with updates, and sent an email …

    Well, okay. Let’s get the problem solved. Do I have the correct phone #? Yes? Okay. I’ll pass it on to the shipper. 

    Tell the shipper to text only, he said. My VM doesn’t work.

    Well, allrighty then. If your VM doesn’t work and you don’t answer your phone, that’s on you.

    On a related note, I am very irritated with people who don’t answer their phone. It’s A Phone. My husband is one of them, didn’t answer a call and had his surgery delayed because of it. My sister didn’t know about a kid who’d been arrested for assaulting a horse (boy, that’s a story) and another relative didn’t find out about a dying loved one until it was too late.

    My husband claims that I am subconsciously waiting for that call from Ed McMahon. No. I have four kids in three different states, grandchildren, a pregnant daughter, twenty nieces and nephews, and brothers and sisters who aren’t as young as they used to be. And more than a few friends who are struggling emotionally right now.

    I always answer my phone; if it’s someone I don’t want to talk to I simply say: sorry. I’m driving. Can’t talk.

    I haven’t been called by a pollster since I changed my registration from D to R. Used to get three or four calls per year. Good times. I like to think I converted a few.

    • #20
  21. Jim Wright Inactive
    Jim Wright
    @JimW

    My wife has been polled once.

    When she expressed support for Trump, three times the pollster said, “let me rephrase…” and asked again with variations, before she interrupted him to say, “no amount of rephrasing is going to make me to say I’ll vote for the other guy.”

    My response was “it’s 2020. I’m voting for the meteor.” *click*

    • #21
  22. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    I think the meteor’s official name is Biden/Harris.

    • #22
  23. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    “Put me on your do not poll list.” I never, never answer polls. Not since I was push-polled decades ago. 

    To paraphrase Klavan, if we don’t answer polls, they won’t hear us coming at the ballot box. I like to give ’em a surprise.

    • #23
  24. Bryan G. Stephens, Trump Avenger Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens, Trump Avenger
    @BryanGStephens

    They will just steal it.

    https://thefederalist.com/2020/10/19/we-gamed-out-the-2020-election-and-found-our-constitution-can-handle-the-madness/

    They won’t seat Republicans. Remember when they flirted with halting the turn over before?

    Nancy Pelosi.

    • #24
  25. Sisyphus Member
    Sisyphus
    @Sisyphus

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    “Put me on your do not poll list.” I never, never answer polls. Not since I was push-polled decades ago.

    To paraphrase Klavan, if we don’t answer polls, they won’t hear us coming at the ballot box. I like to give ’em a surprise.

    This. 

    And polls are designed to achieve a certain end, which is never, ever an end I would agree with. Even if it is just their use in place of actual facts in “news” reports.

    • #25
  26. OldPhil Coolidge
    OldPhil
    @OldPhil

    katievs (View Comment):

    I almost can’t bring myself to click on an NRO link these days. Me. A once-Never-Trumper.

    They still have plenty of good people. Victor Davis Hanson, Kyle Smith, Andrew McCarthy, David Harsanyi, Alexandra DeSanctis, etc.

    • #26
  27. JamesSalerno Inactive
    JamesSalerno
    @JamesSalerno

    I was watching a Gavin McIness video on polls and I think he nailed it right on the head. To paraphrase:

    “Have you ever seen a dad answer the phone? Picks it up, “Who is this?” He then holds the phone away from his head and looks at it confused “Huh? Who? Why are you calling me? Do I know you?”

    I know that’s pretty much my dad to a T. Dads have work to do and can’t be bothered with chit chat. The dads/men of America don’t show up in polls because a poll takes away from productive time. Dads vote for Trump.

    • #27
  28. Theodoric of Freiberg Member
    Theodoric of Freiberg
    @TheodoricofFreiberg

    Hartmann von Aue (View Comment):

    Dratted paywall. I already hit my four free articles.

    Listen to the podcast for free: https://www.nationalreview.com/podcasts/the-editors/special-episode-the-pollster-who-thinks-trump-is-ahead/

    • #28
  29. Headedwest Coolidge
    Headedwest
    @Headedwest

    JustmeinAZ (View Comment):

    Hang On (View Comment):
    Really confused. You answer your phone if you don’t know who’s calling you?

    I do because too many medical offices now are not identified on caller ID. I once blocked my PCP because I didn’t recognize the number and they had to send me snail mail to communicate. Same with my mail-order pharmacies.

    I do not understand why big corporations cannot arrange to have proper Caller ID when they phone me. It’s a mystery, wrapped in an enigma..

    • #29
  30. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Headedwest (View Comment):

    JustmeinAZ (View Comment):

    Hang On (View Comment):
    Really confused. You answer your phone if you don’t know who’s calling you?

    I do because too many medical offices now are not identified on caller ID. I once blocked my PCP because I didn’t recognize the number and they had to send me snail mail to communicate. Same with my mail-order pharmacies.

    I do not understand why big corporations cannot arrange to have proper Caller ID when they phone me. It’s a mystery, wrapped in an enigma..

    I’ve found that when people are working from home these days, they don’t have a corporate phone number.  They might show as “anonymous” so you don’t get their personal phone number, or they might even “spoof” a more or less random number.

     

    • #30
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