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SUSA's Leve: Polling (As We Know It) 'Doomed' by 2012*

Topics: IVR Polls , Jay Leve , National Journal column , SurveyUSA

My National Journal column for the week, on the surprisingly dire view of the future of polling from SurveyUSA's Jay Leve, is now online.

At a panel at last week's Joint Statistical Meetings in Washington DC, Leve delivered a presenation with this surprising conclusion: "If you look at where we are here in 2009," for phone polling, he said, "it's over... this is the end. Something else has got to come along." Intrigued? Hope so. Click through for the details.

*Correction:  The original headline and subheading on both the National Journal column and this entry incorrectly stated that Leve forecasts "doom" for all of polling and the polling profession.  Leve sees doom for a particular kind of polling, what he calls "barge-in telephone polling" -- in essence,this means telephone surveys as we now know them, both live operator and automated.  However, as I hope the last paragraph of the column makes clear, he is optimistic about the future of polling:  "And for those who might ask, he adds that he 'doesn't look to the future with despair but with wonder' at the opportunities for the polling profession."

 

Comments
Stephen_W:

While I'm by no means qualified to chime in about the future of polling, I'll do it anyways. ;) I'm part of that generation that's done away with home phone lines, opting instead to go cell phone exclusive. I live in the Bay Area, and young professionals my age (25-33) are all pretty much in the same boat. I've never been asked to participate in a poll, nor has anyone else I know.

While I think Zogby isn't a very good pollster, I think he's definitely onto something with his flawed interactive poll. I can see a future where pollsters use google data and text messaging to extract information about people just like advertisers do online. I don't know if I would have the patience to go through a phone polling interview, but I do think a quick text msg and reply would be something I would have no problem with. How accurate polling would be in that case, I have no idea, but I suspect it would open many more doors for people like yourself and Nate Silver at fivethirtyeight.com, who like crunching data and extrapolating great insights from it.

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