Polling Is Getting Harder, But Remains Vital

Polling Is Getting Harder, But It’s A Vital Check On Power

There is apprehension in the air around the state of the polling industry in the US. The problem is simple but daunting: The ability to draw a random sample of the population is becoming much harder to do. A couple of prominent reasons:

  • Response rates to telephone surveys have declined into the single digits, even for the highest-quality polls. Upcoming TCPA changes could frustrate efforts even further.
  • Online surveys have not yet defined a set of best practices, meaning it’s a challenge to “ping” random voters online in the same way that you might by phone.

Lately there have been a series of relatively poor outcomes, which is of course leading to worries. Polls can be essential to understanding public opinion on a host of issues that people never get a chance to vote upon. Without accurate polling, government may end up losing its most powerful tool to know what the people who elect it really think. A serious issue worth considering.

Read the source article at FiveThirtyEight

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