If reached by landline, you prefer Haley. Otherwise not…

I was intrigued by this new poll on the SC gubernatorial race. Dick Bennett of American Research Group grabbed my attention in an email in which he wrote:

While Haley leads Sheheen 53% to 28% (and 12% for Ervin) among likely voters living in households with only landline telephones, Sheheen leads Ervin 43% to 30% (with 18% for Haley) among likely voters using cell phones or other mobile devices to complete the survey.

I checked, and he didn’t mean those households with “only landline telephones” had no cellphones, the way it sounded. He had meant to say, “among those reached by landline. If a household has a landline number in the sample we purchase, it gets called.”

Still, that’s interesting — the people reached via mobile devices put the incumbent in third place. I wonder why that is?

Of course, Haley still has a strong lead in the poll overall, since only 181 respondents were reached by mobile device, and 419 interviews were done over landlines. The totals for the poll are Haley 43 percent, Sheheen 33, Ervin 18.

But I wonder what accounts for the difference between those two sets of respondents… Youth? Affinity for technology? What?

17 thoughts on “If reached by landline, you prefer Haley. Otherwise not…

  1. Doug Ross

    “Still, that’s interesting — the people reached via mobile devices put the incumbent in third place. I wonder why that is?”

    Because it is a flawed poll?

    That 18% number is meaningless. I’m sure the Sheheen campaign will try to use it to drive some fundraising scam.. but it means nothing. Haley is going to win comfortably because Sheheen has no message, no vision, and no passion for the job. We are less than 60 days from the election and his campaign is on life support. Do you hear anyone except true believers talking about replacing Haley?

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      I don’t know why you would see the poll as flawed. The results seem pretty consistent with others we’ve seen.

      My point is that I wonder why people reached via alternative methods had such a different opinion from the dominant one…

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        Oh, and the reason why there is such a subset is that it’s gotten harder and harder to reach respondents via the traditional method, landlines. So basically, we have that subgroup because the pollster was trying to overcome a flaw, one that plagues phone polling in general these days…

      2. Doug Ross

        It’s flawed for one simple reason: it doesn’t reflect reality. Do you seriously believe that Nikki Haley will only get 18% of the vote from people who own cellphones? All that number 18% tells you is the percentage of the 181 people who answered their cellphone to respond poll supposedly responded.

        And here’s my other take – I doubt that 30% of cellphone owners even KNOW who Tom Ervin is.

  2. Bryan Caskey

    I haven’t had a landline in 5 years. Back when I first graduated from law school and got a place, I got a landline. Guess what? No one I know (family & friends) ever called it because they always called my mobile or just texted me. The only people who ever called the landline were telemarketers. It got to the point where if the landline rang, we knew that it wasn’t someone we wanted to talk to.

    Heck, my parents still have a landline, but they call me from their mobile phones while they’re in the house. I think they keep a landline simply because they’ve had it their whole lives. I don’t know hardly anyone under 35 who has a landline, and I’m talking about lawyers and architects, not homeless people.

    I never get polled, which is totally fine with me.

    What’s the point anymore? What benefit does a landline have that justifies the expense?

    1. Kathryn Braun Fenner

      I wish my parents would kill THEIR landline and use the mobiles we got them. The landline is still used by my dad’s buddies, but mostly they get robocalls and scammers.

      We dumped our landline when we realized the only calls we got were fund raisers and robocalls

    2. Brad Warthen

      Before we got rid of our landline, we only got calls from my parents and telemarketers. Fortunately, my parents have made the transition to calling us on cell, but the telemarketers have not…

  3. Karen Pearson

    Based on the people I know, as well as the comments above, if you have a land line to answer you are almost certainly older, and probably therefore more conservative. That doesn’t mean that conservative don’t have cell phones, or that older folk must have land lines, but I think it would skew the reported preferences.

  4. Silence

    This is a well-known phenomenon. People with a landline definitely skew older. I haven’t had a landline in over a decade, and I don’t see any reason why I ever will again. Next step is to get rid of cable, and watch TV over TCP/IP.

  5. Kathleen

    Would you believe there are still pockets of unreliable cell service/reception in our great state and people
    actually live in them?

    1. Silence

      Yes, I know and believe it, but they are getting fewer and further between. The pockets, I mean, not the people. At least around our major metro areas and along major roads. There’s still a signficant portion of rural area that has minimal to no coverage.

      1. Kathryn Braun Fenner

        Really? I get coverage on Verizon when I ride back roads. I go mostly to Aiken and the beach, but I do take back roads whenever possible.

        I would guess the far Upstate might have a lot more issues, what with big hills?

        1. Silence

          A lot depends on who your carrier is, and which system that they use. Basically though, cell signals, especially for mobile “broadband” are line-of-sight. Also, I believe that the 800 MHz signal travels better and attenuates less over distance than the 1900 MHz or 2400 MHz signal does.

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