Newsday columnist Jimmy Breslin makes a scathing critique of election polling, making a point I have long esposed: Most polls completely ignore the millions of voters who eschew landlines in favor of mobile phones.
There are almost 169 million cell phones being used in America today 168,900,019 as of Sept. 15, according to the cell phone institute in Washington.
There is no way to poll cell phone users, so it isn't done
He quotes pollster John Zogby, who shares this view.
"I don't use telephones anymore because there is no easy way to use them," John Zogby was saying yesterday. It was the 20th anniversary of the start of his polling company. He began with what he calls "blue highway polls," sheriffs' races in Onandaga and Jefferson counties in upstate New York.
"The people who are using telephone surveys are in denial," Zogby was saying. "It is similar to the '30s, when they first started polling by telephones and there were people who laughed at that and said you couldn't trust them because not everybody had a home phone. Now they try not to mention cell phones. They don't look or listen. They go ahead with a method that is old and wrong."
Just like with WMD, if people hear a falsehood often enough, they start to believe it.
Then again, there are polls that show that voters most are clueless about candidates' issues. As the AP's Will Lester writes, "If matching presidential candidates to their positions on basic issues were like a 'Jeopardy!' category, most Americans wouldn't earn a single dollar."