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The cell phone factor

post #1 of 5
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From this Jimmy Breslin column:
Finally, one thing kept clawing at you. Cell phones. Long I have wondered how many there were. Everybody I know, smart people, politicians, news directors, thought that there were, oh, 40 million or so. I call the cell phone institute in Washington last Sept. 12. They told me that there were 165 million cell phones in use in the United States, That is 165,000,000. One month later, I asked again. It was up to 170 million -- 170,000,000. Yes, a great number also had land lines. But of this 170 million cell phone users there were 40 million between the ages of 18 and 29, and these people usually have no other phones.

That had to be Kerry.

Not one cell phone in the United States had been reached by a political poll. These old-line poll takers don't know who cell phone users were or where they lived.

So you were getting CBS/New York Times polls proclaimed as most important and real. One hundred seventy million cell phones and you don't poll one of them. The polls they are pushing at you in the news magazines, on the networks, in the big papers, are such cheap, meaningless blatant lies, that some of these television stations should have their licenses challenged.

They have a poll number for every one of the "battleground states." I'm awaiting the casualty list from Gettysburg.

Then a night or so ago, somebody finally tried a poll of cell phone users between the ages of 18 and 29. John Zogby conducted the survey in conjunction with Rock the Vote and the results showed Kerry at 55 percent and Bush at 40.

Then the Kerry people ran their own poll, which took a lot of work. It was the first time they had reached any cell phone users. The result was Kerry 59 and Bush 39.

(Emphasis mine)

I think it's a little more than just wishful thinking to believe that support for Kerry is going to be significantly stronger than all the major polls we've been seeing would have you believe.
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We were once so close to heaven
Peter came out and gave us medals
Declaring us the nicest of the damned -- They Might Be Giants          See the stars at skyviewcafe.com
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post #2 of 5
I do think this could be a factor but not assigned exclusively to the young. Most men of my age that I know might have a landline but exclusively answer or only own their cellphone. The landline is for the kids and wife.

Nick

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #3 of 5
My wife and I decided when we moved that we would not get a land-line (heck, we never use it).

We both use Palm Treos.

We're not exactly "young", we're both in our mid-thirties.
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post #4 of 5
The only reason my wife and I have a land line is for DSL. We don't even have a phone plugged into the land line. We use our cell phones exclusively for communication. I have a few friends who rely on their cells for all coms because of the convenience.

I think this is one of the many flaws with modernday polling. Heck--I can't find the article off hand--only about 35-40% of polling attemps result in useful data. This is down form 70%'ish in the early to mid 60's. The pollsters are not getting a good but out of the statistical pie IMHO.
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"[Saddam's] a bad guy. He's a terrible guy and he should go. But I don't think it's worth 800 troops dead, 4500 wounded -- some of them terribly -- $200 billion of our treasury and counting, and...
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post #5 of 5
Exactly. In the old days when we didn't have caller ID we all picked up the phone when it rang. Now I just check the ID and if it's a number i don't recognize I don't pick up and let the machine get it.

But i don't even do that anymore because I don't have a land-line at all. We have a cable modem so I don't even have an account open with the phone company.

I think all the pollsters are going to have to serious restructure their models after this election.

Especially if Kerry wins big.
"The selfishness of Ayn Rand capitalism is the equivalent of intellectual masturbation -- satisfying in an ego-stroking way, but an ethical void when it comes to our commonly shared humanity."
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