I get a lot of calls. Most are about the local state elections.
On a national poll, the odds would be around one in 320,000 of being called in any poll of 1,000 people, which is usually the target size. Given 1,000 polls (an arbitrary number) by universities and news organizations in this election, that makes the odds one in 320 to be called this year.
Going back to what I learned when we did this at Cleveland State 35 years ago (the format has not changed over the years) for every call that counts, you make two or three calls.
That cuts the odds to one in 100 of being called once for a poll.
But given that I have taken ten or so national surveys, that means a lot of more people are being called -- and the people reached are not so random.
Now that does not invalidate the polls. But this is a problem. They may be overfishing the pond.
If it is by design -- and the Los Angeles Times uses the same pool of 2,500 people to catch the changes in the election campaign -- then disclose it. But I really doubt this is the plan.
The second thing I noticed is the calls now are all automatic. You respond by pressing numbers. That is a vast improvement because it eliminates one source of human error. You get the same questions asked the same way each time.
But punching numbers is a problem. I make mistakes and hang up. Why not use voice recognition? Expense? Seriously? ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox News, and NBC have so much money, they blow their noses in fifties.
The third thing I notice is that whoever is doing the Morgantown-area polling for Republicans needs to learn what an exchange is. I live on the other side of the state. My exchange is 755. That's the first three numbers after the area code. The people in the 755 exchange live in the Cross Lanes-Nitro-Poca area. The only thing we care about in Morgantown right now is the WVU football team. Unless you are asking me about the team, I don't care.
I also got a call from a Virginia pollster.
The fourth thing is push polls -- which are illegal -- live on. Democrats are using them against state Senator Chris Walters and state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey. Makes me more determined to vote for them.