Mobile Phones and Habits of Millennials Vex US pollsters

Read the latest Financial Times Article, Citing SSRS EVP David Dutwin

From the UK to Israel and Spain, pollsters have called the outcome of recent elections dramatically wrong. One week before the Iowa caucuses mark the start of the US election’s primary season, US pollsters are anxious to avoid repeating the same mistakes in the 2016 campaign.

From millennials who do not answer the phone to “likely voter” models with a chequered history and falling sample sizes due to squeezed news budgets, this year’s polls provide plenty of grist for critics.

“The number of telephone calls you have to dial to complete a single interview has tripled over the last 10 years . . . and that has led to a doubling in cost,” says David Dutwin, chief methodologist at SSRS which conducts the respected CBS/New York Times survey. Pollsters now make 30-35 calls to complete a single interview versus 10 a decade ago, he says. To interview a thousand voters — only 400 of which may be likely to vote Republican — they have to dial up to 35,000 numbers.”