Are North Dakota Pollsters Trying To Exclude This Blog’s Audience?
A little over a week ago a SAB reader emailed me to say that she got a phone call from a pollster who quickly disqualified her from the poll one she admitted that she reads/comments on blogs:
Rob, I just got almost-polled. Apparently, saying “yes” to the question of “do you have a political blog [I don't] or do you comment often on political blogs [I do]” disqualified me from whatever else they were going to ask. I do not know who they were polling for. That question came immediately after the one about anyone in the household working for news media or political parties/candidates.
I’ve never been weeded out like that before.
Another reader who got this same polling call said it came from a Bismarck-based number, 701-214-4404, which appears to be associated with Google’s Voice service. This wasn’t conclusive evidence that this was a North Dakota-specific poll, of course, but it made me think it probably was.
Last night another reader got a polling call and, despite being a frequent visitor and commenter on this blog, decided to be less than truthful in response to the first screening question and got to hear the rest of the poll’s questions. Below are the notes he sent me about the questions he was asked. Note that there are plenty of questions about North Dakota-specific candidates, meaning this was definitely a North Dakota-specific poll.
Since my first post on this matter I’ve been asking polling experts, and searching the internet, for an explanation as to why bloggers and blog readers might be excluded from a poll and I’ve found nothing. The experts I’ve spoken to say it’s the first they’ve heard of the practice. Before we knew the questions being asked they thought it might be some research into how people get their media, but now that we have the questions it’s pretty clearly a ND-specific political poll.
And a ND-specific political poll excluding bloggers is pretty much an attempt to cut this blog’s audience out of the results. If I may toot my own horn for a moment, there is no other political blog in the state with anything even approaching SAB’s audience. There really aren’t any other serious, consistently updated political blogs in the state at all. Which makes me think that the pollsters a) are aware of the existence of this blog and b) are actively working to keep this blog’s influence out of their sample.
Which makes about as much sense as trying to exclude readers of the local editorial page out of poll results. And even if the intent isn’t to target this blog specifically, targeting bloggers and blog readers generally is still pretty fishy.
Nobody who has indicated to me that they got polled has caught the name of the pollster. If any of you get a call and get the name I’d love to contact them for an explanation.
Tags: North Dakota News, polling
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