Cell Phones and the 2016 Elections

In December, the CDC released its most recent report on cell phone usage in the US.  The report showed that 44{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} of American households are currently cell phone-only, meaning that there is not a landline phone in the household.  This is a three-point increase over just six months ago, when cell phone-only households made up 41{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} of all American households.

If current trends hold, cell phone-only households will approach, if not surpass 50{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} by Election Day 2016.  While this report focuses on all households and not actual voters, the national exit polls show that the proportion of presidential election year voters who are cell phone-only (CPO in below chart) closely tracks with the national household average:


This growth is important to monitor in the world of survey research, as pollsters need to follow this trend to ensure their samples are representative and include these cell phone-only households.  Exit polls have shown that cell phone-only voters are more likely to support Democratic candidates than those who have a landline in their household.

Perhaps the two most important groups for monitoring cell phone-only households are younger Americans and Hispanics.  These two groups turn out proportionally higher in Presidential election years than in mid-term years and are the most likely to be cell phone-only.

First looking at age, Americans 25-29 years old are the most likely to be without a landline, as 69{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} are in cell phone-only households.  And among the next age cohort (30-34), 65{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} are cell phone-only.  The number falls among older age groups (53{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} among 35-44 and 36{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} among 45-64), but even 16{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} of Americans age 65+ live in wireless-only households.  Without including a significant number of cell phones in the sample, these key Presidential Election year voters will not be a part of the polling sample, jeopardizing the accuracy of the results.

The CDC report also shows that 56{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} of Hispanic households are now cell phone only.  Comparatively, only 40{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} of white households are cell phone-only, and 45{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} of African American households.  In order to get an accurate sample of Hispanics (especially in states or districts where Hispanics make up a significant portion of the electorate), there is again a need sizable cell phone component to ensure these Hispanic voters are included.

For accurate polling in the 2016 elections, the number of cell phones included in polling samples needs to be increased over what was done in 2012 and 2014.  Public Opinion Strategies will continue to be an industry leader in conducting cell phone interviews during the 2016 cycle.

Similar Articles

  • Walmart Moms Focus Group Video & Memo
    read more

  • Walmart Mom Focus Groups
    read more

  • Exploring the effects of interview mode on public opinion data
    read more

  • Smartphones during the 2014 Campaigns
    read more

  • Why The Elephants Are Dancing: Understanding the November 2014 Election
    read more

Public Opinion Strategies helped us to clarify what we wanted to learn and then conducted research and analysis that shed light even beyond the questions we set out to ask. They were very receptive to our suggestions, responsive to our queries, and flexible when we needed them to be.

Public Opinion Strategies has consistently offered unparalleled advice and spot-on polling that has shaped how and where we spent money and deploy key resources. Additionally, they have always been an excellent steward of limited campaign resources, ensuring we spend wisely and not a dollar more than necessary in order to get the information we need.

Robert Blizzard and Public Opinion Strategies did a great job for us throughout our successful campaign for Congress. Robert gave us accurate data, spot on analysis, and professional advice, all of which were essential to our victory.

Public Opinion Strategies is one of our go-to pollsters when it comes to testing public support for bond ballot measures and other initiative proposals. They are available to provide ongoing consultation with regard to crafting of ballot questions, public outreach messaging, and related efforts.

ACLI has worked with Public Opinion Strategies for decades, through several tough industry battles—often ones in which public opinion does not naturally fall on the side of insurers. Yet Bill and his team consistently provide invaluable strategic advice by refining our messages and helping us frame our issues in a way that makes them understandable and persuasive.

The data from Public Opinion Strategies provided important insight and informed our public awareness campaign. We sincerely appreciate their professionalism and expertise in this arena.

Nicole McCleskey and the team at Public Opinion Strategies have been invaluable to me, both during my campaigns and as Governor of the State of New Mexico. It’s not just the accuracy of their numbers, but guiding the overall strategy that makes them so valuable.

Public Opinion Strategies has been a part of our team in Missouri for more than a decade. With their data and guidance, Republicans here were able to attain a majority in the House in 2002 for the first time in fifty years, and we have been able to grow that majority to the point that we now have a record, veto-proof majority.

In my tenure at two leading business associations, facing huge and complex consumer issues, I have benefitted enormously from the objective advisory skills of Bill and his team. They do their homework, they are rigorous, dispassionate and thoughtful. Turning questions into answers is a clever tag, but it’s also an apt description of the professional talents of the firm.

I consider Public Opinion Strategies to be a part of our team. That is the way we have always worked. They have helped us to understand our needs and fashioned research solutions to meet those needs. They have helped us to meet killer deadlines by being flexible, executing rapidly, and insuring quality. Teamwork is the best way to describe it.

Accuracy, speed, and deep knowledge of key issues and public sentiment are the hallmarks of quality opinion research, and on these measures Public Opinion Strategies consistently delivers. I have had the pleasure of working with Public Opinion Strategies for more than 15 years on dozens of issues, and they are undoubtedly the gold standard.

Public Opinion Strategies’ track record of success and wealth of experience in political campaigns and issue advocacy are why they are one of the most trusted and well respected public opinion firms in Washington, D.C. Their insights and perspectives have helped to inform a wide array of public affairs activities across multiple industries.

Social Media Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com