Cell-phone-only voters in the 2008 exit poll and implications for future noncoverage bias

  • Mokrzycki M
  • Keeter S
  • Kennedy C
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Amid growing concern about potential noncoverage bias in random digit dial survey samples that exclude cell phones, a national face-to-face exit poll provided an opportunity to reach November 2008 Election Day voters regardless of telephone status and to evaluate how the cell-only subgroup has changed since the 2004 election. The National Election Pool's survey found a sharp increase in cell-only incidence, comparable to trends for the general public in government surveys, with cell-only status approaching the norm for voters under age 30. But voters age 30 and older actually abandoned landlines at a faster rate, and the difference in presidential vote preference between the cell-only and landline-accessible voters in this age group was even greater than for younger voters. This suggests that typical poststratification weighting adjustments for age may be less likely to mitigate noncoverage bias in future landline-only RDD surveys.

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  • Michael Mokrzycki

  • Scott Keeter

  • Courtney Kennedy

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