Polling News

Telephone Polling On The Decline

March 07, 2019

The Pew Research Center’s latest study found that the response rates for telephone surveys continues to decline.  In 2018, the yearly response rate was just 6%, down from 7% in 2017.  It held steady at 9% in 2012 through 2016, but even that rate is much lower than where it was in the late 1990s and early 2000s.  In 1997, the response rate to telephone surveys was 36%.  Though the rates began to decline over the next decade, they still remained above 20% in 2001 (28%) through 2006 (21%).

Automated telephone surveys and telemarketing calls have rapidly increased in recent years, attributing to this decline in survey responses.  Americans hang up the phone or have programs on their telephones that block survey calls, forcing the polling industry to continuously evolve with changing technologies.  For example, when more and more Americans opted for cellphone-only households over the traditional landlines, pollsters had to incorporate live-dial cellphone calls.  Now, as anemic telephone survey response rates possibly distort a survey’s findings, pollsters must find ways to supplement their polls with online samples and other means.  Some will do away with telephone surveys all together and conduct online-only polling, as Pew has chosen to do.  There are risks to that as well, as online samples cannot be verified as easily as phone respondents, but the process may improve as more and more outfits explore online-only samples.

Related PollingNews

Placeholder polling news
January 16, 2020 |
Polling News
Radical left darling Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently said the Democratic Party had “too big a tent,” suggesting it could afford to sluff off more traditional Democrats.  ...
Placeholder polling news
January 09, 2020 |
Polling News
Before this past week’s events, it would be easy to assume that the main issues of the 2020 campaign would be the economy and healthcare.  ...
Placeholder polling news
January 02, 2020 |
Polling News
One of the Pew Research Center’s key 2019 findings was how few “true” self-identifying independent voters there are.  ...
Placeholder polling news
December 26, 2019 |
Polling News
While House Democrats were putting on a show with their attempts to impeach the president, he delivered on a top campaign promise. ...
Button karlsbooks
Button readinglist
Button nextapperance