Pollsters Excluding Bloggers And Blog Commenters?


A reader just sent this to me this evening:

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.

That’s the first I’ve heard of it too. I wonder what sort of a sample they could be trying to reach by including bloggers and blog commenters? And why blogs specifically? They’re worried about blog commenters but not, say, people who comment on newspaper sites? Or Facebook posts?

Regardless, it just goes to show how pollsters manipulate samples to reach the conclusions they want.

Have any of you readers out there received a call like this?

Update: Per the comments, it seems that at least some of these calls are coming from a Bismarck-based number.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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  • http://nofreelunch.areavoices.com/ Kevin Flanagan

    Yeah, that happened to me yesterday. It was a call from Bismarck.

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      That’s interesting. If it’s a North Dakota-focused poll, then barring bloggers/blog commenters is aimed at…who?

      There aren’t many political bloggers in ND, and none with anything approaching SAB’s audience…

      • robertfrost

        Rob, take some credit where it is due there. The poll (and I say this seriously, not sarcastically), is obviously a poll for a democrat or liberal. By asking if the respondant regularly comments on political blogs, and with the poll being in North Dakota, they are simply trying to eliminate those that comment on this blog, knowing that they are likely conservative, and will not serve up the answers the poll “wants”.
        I honestly think this is the case, and you deserve the credit for being on the map and making pollsters sidestep.

        • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

          I had considered that. I do wish I knew what they were polling. Maybe it wasn’t political at all, but it’s hard to imagine it would be anything else in the midst of political season.

  • Clint F

    Well, since the only lib blogger that even (barely) shows up on anyone’s radar is that Nodland fella I suppose they can use the blogger question to weed out conservatives.

  • matthew

    They are probably trying to poll people who are not politically active.

  • broadway joe

    I got the same question, thought it was very strange as well. My call came from Bismarck as well. The questions appeared to be driven to Berg as it was a push poll…I lied and said I was a Heidi Ho supporter so they kept asking if their talking points changed my vote.

  • Guest

    Maybe that was the poll.

  • Wordchipper

    The bigger problem is the cell phone. With an increasing number of households not having a land land, pollsters are getting a very skewed view by not being able to reach cell phone users. I’m not suggesting that cell numbers should be as available to pollsters or anybody as are land line numbers (parish the thought!) but I do believe that polls today lack credibility based on an incomplete data pool.

    • dakotacyr

      Some pollsters are actually using cell phone as well.

    • Guest

      I was just thinking that. Who uses landlines? People who do primarily probably aren’t representative of the populous, but I don think some use cells, because I’ve been called on mine for a poll