Mark Blumenthal | January 8, 2009
I must admit, despite the fact that my National Journal colleagues publish The Hotline just one floor down from my office, I missed this brief announcement (subscription required) on Tuesday appended to results from a recent survey from Public Policy Polling (PPP):
Traditionally, the Hotline has only published live-telephone interview surveys while excluding interactive voice response (IVR) polls, despite the increased media coverage of many of these so-called "robo-polls." In our constant effort to remain tuned to industry developments, and to determine if such distinctions are fair and valid, the Hotline will begin running selected numbers from IVR polls during the upcoming cycle. Specifically, head-to-head matchups, favorability ratings and approval ratings from IVR outfits will appear on an interim basis in the Hotline's Latest Edition through the '10 midterms. This data -- from firms such as InsiderAdvantage, Public Policy Polling, Rasmussen Reports and SurveyUSA -- will be published alongside live-telephone data, but will be clearly labeled as IVR results.
For those who are unfamiliar, The Hotline has been a DC institution for more than 20 years, serving up a daily political news summary chock full of polling data since the days when the preferred mode of delivery was the fax machine. They have long refused to publish surveys that used an automated methodology rather than live interviewers, so in our small world, their decision to publish IVR results, even if only on an "interim" basis, is important and, in my view at least, a welcome step.