Polls when only your grandma still has a landline…

This Pew Research piece compares polling by telephones versus online matters.

Overall, telephone interviewees were more likely to put their best foot forward while online folks were more negative because talking to a person exerts a “subtle social pressure.”

  1. “Web respondents were far more than those interviewed on the phone to give various political figures a “very unfavorable” rating”
  2. “Telephone respondents were more likely than those interviewed on the Web to say they often talked with their neighbors, to rate their communities as an “excellent” place to live and to rate their own health as “excellent.”
  3. “Web respondents were more likely than phone respondents to report being unable to afford food or needed medical care at some point in the past twelve months.”

In terms of who answers polls online versus on the phone, here’s a breakdown:

Some takeaways: minorities (blacks and Hispanics) more have higher completion rates on the phone, suburban more likely to use web while rural is more likely to use phone, and 14% more responded to all waves via phone than via the Internet.

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