The Annual 'Polls Affected By Cell Phone Use' Story Reappears

Testing the theory that if you repeat something often enough, it’s bound to become true, AP writer Will Lester offers up another edition in his Cell Phone/Political Polling anthology. This time, he finally tells readers what he’s been dying to say since the first article… that polls are being tilted in favor of conservatives, because cell phone users who are out of reach of pollsters are generally more liberal. Got to give the guy credit, he’s been working on this angle, repeating this same story, for several years now… and he’s finally delivered the dramatic climax.

Cell-Phone-Only Crowd May Alter Polling

Currently, 7.8 percent of adults live in households that have only a cell phone, according to research released Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics. And that group is growing at about 1 percentage point every six months.

Those who only have cell phones are significantly different in many ways — typically younger, less affluent, more likely to be single, and more liberal on many political issues — from those who can be reached by landline, an AP-AOL-Pew survey finds.

So does this mean that conservatives should be fearful that the liberal-leaning polls we’re being inundated with by MSM aren’t representing enough liberal data?

Blending the opinions of cell-only respondents into a poll of all adults changed the findings on various political questions in the AP-AOL-Pew survey by 1 percentage point at the most.

Guess not. But Lester has been repeating this exact same story for almost 2 years now. Although, this was the first time he decided to announce the mystery cell phoners are not just poor college non-voters, but suddenly they’re a bunch of liberal voters… (afterall, reliance on polls worked so well for the Left in 2004) But these newly liberal voters weren’t so political in the last few renditions of this story:

October 12, 2004: Cell phone users not in election polls (Will Lester, AP) - “Many cell-only users are young and mobile, a demographic that often doesn’t vote.”

February 26, 2005: ‘Cell phone only’ crowd stymies polls (Will Lester, AP) - “They’re mainly young, single and urban. They move frequently, usually renting rather than owning their homes.”

May 16, 2005: Pollsters Eye Cell Phones (Will Lester, AP) - “[T]he number of people using only cell phones was growing faster among several groups - including young adults, those people living with unrelated roommates and those people living alone.”

It looks like Lester may have gotten his inspiration from another article written back in December, 2003:

Cell phones put pollsters ‘in a muddle’
Exclusion of a particular socioeconomic, political, racial, geographic or other group can skew poll results, because a reliable poll must draw responses at random from as wide a field as possible.

Polling experts agree that the problem is minimal for now, but they have varying takes on how serious it may become.

Seems Lester is a fan of cloning articles.

Polling Associated Press