Pew Polls Polling

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Andrew Kohut, President of the Pew Research Center (Miller Center/flickr)

Fewer people are answering surveys today than in the past. Andrew Kohut, president of the Pew Research Center, discusses a new Pew study on the effectiveness of public polls.


Andrew Kohut

Comments [11]

The Kult of the Horserace.

May. 22 2012 03:53 PM

Two weekends ago I had a pollster call me at least 6 times in three hours. The first time I picked up & asked how long it would take & was told 20 minutes. Who has that much time to spend on the phone with a stranger? I said no thank you but kept getting called throughout the day.

May. 22 2012 01:51 PM
Palisades from Westchester County

I regret not accepting calls from legitimate pollers, but I just stopped taking all calls that are not personal: after the aggressive push-polling from the last two elections and a proliferation of telemarketing calls (that I cannot seem to end, no matter what I do), I just won't take these calls any more.

I would however, consider doing e-mail polls if it was through ONE LEGITIMATE organization and didn't occur more than once every two weeks and didn't result in a barrage of spam.

May. 22 2012 11:45 AM
Hal from Brooklyn

I would be glad to answer his polls, but too often telephone pollsters are not revealing their agenda (who's paying for the poll) and tend to have a way to ask questions that skew results in the direction the pollster desires, for political or marketing purposes.

May. 22 2012 11:43 AM

Would the world come to an end if we NEVER had another poll...ever??

May. 22 2012 11:42 AM
Ben from Westchester

Please note the problem with incredibly weak and ineffectual laws against robo calls.

I have, for example, received four calls in the last two months asking me to answer a 30 second survey "as a research tool," and if I answer I get a voucher for a discount vacation in the Caribbean etc. This is clearly a sales call masquerading as a survey.

The clear answer is to establish ANY kind of robo calling as a felony offense, punishable by jail time, for people who abuse the phones for fake surveys, fake political ads, etc. And to prosecute. And I'm not joking.

Then we will be more willing to pick up the phones for real surveys.

Also, Mr. Kohut, people aren't using the phone anymore. It's a broken model and he needs to deal with that.

May. 22 2012 11:41 AM
Jane from manhattan

My response to most of the questions asked is none of the above. No nuance allowed. So now I mostly decline to b interviewed.

May. 22 2012 11:41 AM

Does Pew try to leave a mesage or in any way identify themselves? Do they have their name along with the calling number?

I screen my calls and tend to not respond to any caller who will not ID him or herself and who will not leave a message. Other wise I figure it's some kind of telephone spam.

And I would answer political poll questions.

May. 22 2012 11:41 AM
Edward from NJ

Are there just more polls taking place? And could that be part of the problem?

In the not too distant past, I used to wonder why I never got called by pollsters. When I did get a call, I was kind of excited to participate. Now I seem to get called all the time, and I'm far less likely to take part.

I've also opted-out mid-poll when I've found that the options offered tried to squeeze me into a preconceived box.

May. 22 2012 11:41 AM
eric from park slope

perhaps part of the problem is that every other call that comes through on my landline is a marketing call disguised as a "survey" or "poll," as a way around the do not call lists.

May. 22 2012 11:39 AM
Tom Klimuc from Westfield, NJ

Regarding the point of 9%, does Pew have a caller id of "unavailable?" I never answer an unavailable caller id.

May. 22 2012 11:38 AM

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