Why don’t you poll cellphones?
This question, or variations on it, is the one I’m asked most frequently. I’ve answered it before on this blog, but this time I thought I’d share some data to help explain my view.
Firstly, let me state that the company I work for does call cellphones. We just don’t randomly dial them for the political poll. As I’ve mentioned before this has very little to do with the actual cost of calling cells. For a polling company, the cost isn’t that much more than it is for landline calls.
I’d like to start by addressing the misconception that it is just low income or ‘young’ households (for lack of a better term) that don’t have a landline telephone.
Please look at the chart below, which I created using data from Statistics New Zealand’s 2012 Household Use of Information and Communications Technology Survey. This is a very robust door-to-door survey of New Zealand households. You can find out more about the methodology here. As you can see in the chart, relative to all NZ households there is a greater proportion of non-landline households in the lower income (and likely younger) groups. However, what’s also clear is that there are substantial proportions of non-landline households in higher income groups too.