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Want a Republican? Use a Landline. A Democrat? Call a Cell Phone.

4 years ago
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If you wanted a symbolic picture of the Republican-Democratic divide, maybe it should be a split photograph of soon-to-be-House Speaker John Boehner and President Obama talking by phone.
Boehner would be on a landline and Obama would be on his cell phone.
Well, maybe that's taking things too far. But the Pew Research Center's final study for this year of the disparities between those interviewed by landline and those interviewed by cell phone further bolster its earlier findings that landline-only samples of voters skew the results toward Republicans.
Analyzing three of its own polls during 2010, Republicans held a lead that was an average 5.1 points higher in the landline-only samples than in the surveys that combined landlines and cell phones.
Pew said that in its final pre-election poll, the landline-only sample of likely voters put the Republicans ahead on the generic congressional ballot by 51 percent to 39 percent, but that lead fell to 48 percent to 42 percent when cell phone users were included in the sample. While the official figures are not yet final, the Republican margin in the national House vote ended up being about 7 points.
Pew found this factor in play with two groups of cell phone users. It was most apparent among those who only use cell phones and don't have a landline, but it also showed up, though to a lesser degree, among "dual" users who have both a landline and a cell phone.
Pew says that in the three polls from this year that it analyzed, dual users reached on their cell tended to be younger, more likely to be black or Hispanic, less likely to be college graduates, less conservative and more Democratic in their vote preference than dual users reached by landline.
When dual users were reached by landline, Republicans had a 12-point advantage in the Pew polls on the midterm elections. But when dual users were reached by cell, the Republican margin fell to five points.
Among cell phone-only voters, the Republicans led by just three points. The overall margins of error in the Pew congressional polls for samples that included landline and cell phone users ranged from 2.5 to 3 points.
Pew cited the particular challenge of reaching younger voters because many have no landlines and because of their lifestyles. The National Center for Health Statistics has said that in the second half of 2009, 38 percent of 18-to-24-year-olds and 49 percent of 25-to-29-year-olds lived in households without a landline.
To deal with this, Pew did twice as many interviews with voters under 30 by cell phone than it did by landline, even though, overall, the landline part of Pew's sample is twice that of cell phones.
Pew found that young people reached by cell phone differ politically from young people reached by landline.
Democrats had a 53 percent to 38 percent lead over Republicans among registered voters under 30 in Pew surveys this year that included both landline and cell phone users. But when it came to just those reached by landline, the Democratic edge fell from 49 percent to 45 percent.
One final note from Pew's findings: "Voter registration is lowest among those with only a cell phone -- just 60 percent are registered voters."

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7 Comments

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dragonemisis

I have been saying this for the last 5 years. The voters who elected President Obama by a vast majority have cellphones NOT landlines. Landlines are the phone of choice for seniors who are the Republican party base. Yes yes I know, you seniors have cells too. You're the ones running around with a Bluetooth headset hanging off your head thinking "I'm Sooo important."

December 01 2010 at 12:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ettu

Oh, not to worry, that's just us old folks who see no need to spend what little money we have left, after the Obama debacle, on being hooked up to the rest of the world with every device available on the market. Just call us silly, but really, do you want someone to be able to disrupt your day, every minute of the day? Try some downtime, it is refreshing.

November 22 2010 at 5:33 PM Report abuse +7 rate up rate down Reply
crcarr

This is disturbingly true. Most of the polls during the last election cycle were reported as they were all equal. If you searched hard enough you could find out which methods they used. But that was not reported along with the highlights. And guess who reads the headlines: eyery reader; and who reads the details and follow-up to understand the methods maybe 2%. Think how the headlines from these polls affected everyone's perception and how misleading they were. I know this past election was one-sided so it was easy to predict winners except in the close ones. They were off consistently on the close ones because of the poor methodology. And that includes their definition of a likely voter. I am coming to the conclusion that pollsters and politicians want the public to be unknowledgable about how polls work or they fear we'll see the Wizard behind the durtain. BTW, I have to exclude the Gallup poll from this because they finally came around to making it public that they were calling cell phones also.

November 22 2010 at 4:13 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
punnster

Guess that proves that Republicans are more frugal than Democrats.

November 22 2010 at 2:54 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to punnster's comment
Kenneth

It really has nothing to do with being frugal. It is more personal preference. I only carry a cell phone so my family can reach me when I am away from the home or for emergency reasons. I do not give the number out to everyone. Their could be days before my cell rings or I use it. I give out the house land line for personal and business calls. If I am not their the answering machine does a great job. I see many people can not live without their cell phones. I actually watch people when they get in their car search for someone to talk to while they are driving. I do not talk while driving. I will check to see who is calling and if I feel it is important enough I will pull off the road and call the person back.

November 22 2010 at 7:39 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
dragonemisis

Not really Punnster. 85% of our national debt was run up by Republican presidents until the bailout when it fell to 75%. Republicans are only fiscal conservatives when the money will go to helping the American people. Give them a chance to help the wealthy and Katey bar the door!

December 01 2010 at 1:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mykarmaly

Makes sense to me. The use of the landline is now based on a flat rate. Most plans don't charge for long distance or calls out of the local area anymore. I'm sure Democrats that use cell phones aren't caring whether or not they go over their minutes each month. Who cares? It's not their money, right?

November 22 2010 at 2:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to mykarmaly's comment
ha94s10ss

Whose money would you think it was? And why wouldn't it be their money, the only folks I know around here who work on a regular basis are Democrats, there are a lot of Republican/TeaPartier executives, but no workers.

November 22 2010 at 5:20 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
dragonemisis

It is you who make no sense. Its not Democratic States that are the Welfare Queens of the union. For every dollar paid in taxes, California a Democratic state gets back 78 cents. The Republican state of Alaska, in spite of all Palin's screaming about oil independance, receives $1.83 in Welfare & entitlements for its dollar paid in taxes. Don't believe me, do your own research on this non-partisan site. http://www.taxfoundation.org/research/show/22685.html

December 01 2010 at 1:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
yokoach

does this surprise anyone? really? republicans, are by nature mostly conservative. and the dictionary definition of conservative is: •resistant to change •having social or political views favoring conservatism •cautious: avoiding excess; "a conservative estimate" •a person who is reluctant to accept changes and new ideas •button-down: unimaginatively conventional; •bourgeois: conforming to the standards and conventions of the middle class; whereas democrats who are often derided as 'liberal' which has this dictionary definiton... •broad: showing or characterized by broad-mindedness; •having political or social views favoring reform and progress •tolerant of change; not bound by authoritarianism, orthodoxy, or tradition •a person who favors a political philosophy of progress and reform and the protection of civil liberties •a person who favors an economic theory of laissez-faire and self-regulating markets I don't have to make this up...just put definition of: into google and this is what you get. ironic tho is the definition for liberal as "•a person who favors an economic theory of laissez-faire and self-regulating markets" since they're always being attacked for wanting big government and having too much of a hand in regulating business... and equally ironic is the definition of conservative including "conforming to the standards and conventions of the middle class;" when they're always perceived as being for the rich.... it makes me think that we fling these words around too blithely with our own personal definitions instead of what's true...and thereby have no frickin clue how to understand each other.

November 22 2010 at 2:15 PM Report abuse +8 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to yokoach's comment
dragonemisis

Not only that, but in spite of the massive failure of their policies in the last decade, Republicans still want to give it all to the top 2% & hang America out to dry! When the middle class is strong, big business booms. And their stance as fiscal conservatives? 85% of the national debt was run up under Republican presidents until the bailout. Now its 75%.

December 01 2010 at 1:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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