Thursday, February 21, 2008

Those pesky 12 year olds

In an article about PPP's most recent poll looking at possible general election matches for President, UNC Professor Leroy Towns leveled the tired old accusation against interactive voice response polling:
Towns said automated dialing is unreliable and generally distrusted in political circles. "A 12-year-old kid could pick up the phone and push the buttons," he said. "It provides interesting tidbits for political junkies, but little else."
I guess those 12 year olds must be pretty representative of the population at large this year. Survey USA, which uses IVR, has had the most accurate polling of any company in the country that has done more than ten of the primary races. PPP is 4th out of 9 in that category and Rasmussen, which also uses IVR, is 5th. Live interviewer mainstays Zogby and Mason Dixon lag behind the leading IVR companies.

That said if Mr. Towns, a former Republican congressional staffer, would like to advise folks in his party to utilize considerably more expensive polling techniques that aren't any more accurate than what we do, this Democratic pollster says make my day. It's just not very fiscally conservative!

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