Avalanche of Questionable Polling Data Taints Reporting
It’s well known that its harder than ever to complete a live phone call survey, and takes an increasing amount of time and money to query a requisite number of cell phone users in the ultimate sample. And with the preponderance of IVR robo-polls and ‘internet polls’ littering the political reporting landscape in state races, the validity of media-sponsored polling is at an all time low. In close races, the only dependable surveys are those generated by the campaigns themselves.
Here’s a perfect example of a dubious survey: a new “Super Poll” conducted by Georgia-based automated pollster InsiderAdvantage for Fox affiliates and regional newspapers throughout the state. The so-called “SuperPoll” is a mixed-mode survey that combines InsiderAdvantage’s use of IVR technology and registration-based sampling with Internet interviews conducted by the firm OpinionSavvy.
The automated-phone-plus-Internet methodology — in addition to the moniker “SuperPoll” — was dissed among pollsters and other commentators on social media, according to POLITICO reporting. The methodology statement included by InsiderAdvantage and Opinionsavvy confusing.
InsiderAdvantage CEO Matt Towery told POLITICO that his firm, which has for years conducted automated-phone polls, was moving to incorporate Web surveys to reach younger voters who don’t have landline phones. A phone message with Opinion Savvy was not returned, and an employee who answered at its Twitter account and provided an email address did not write back to a question seeking clarification regarding the sampling method.
As for the name “SuperPoll,” Towery told POLITICO: “It’s just a little bit of marketing razzmatazz.”
That says all you need to know how bad the polling industrial complex has become.