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  •  ANother reason for Robo pollsters (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Terri, dogstar30, zackamac

    Robo pollsters also have a unique advantage in this race, because it eliminates the race and/or gender biases that can occur based upon the race and gender of the pollster.  

    When I was in college, I took a class in which we helped write and test a poll about race relations for Zogby.  We discovered a study that showed that people can identify someone's race based upon their voice with 85% accuracy (Naturally, I would assume that gender identification is even higher).  We also found that the answers (as well as whether a person agreed to be polled) were skewed based upon the race of the caller.  For example, the African-American woman in our class received several hostile responses accusing her of "stirring up trouble," while none of the white students received any such responses.  

    This is obviously significant in the 2008 polls, because both whites and, perhaps especially, African-Americans may be less inclined to tell an African-American pollster that they are not supporting Obama.  Likewise, I would bet that older women may feel less inclined to tell another woman that they will not be voting for Hillary Clinton.  

    Automated polls would seem to eliminate the bias problem because people are merely responding to computers.  I have suspected for a long time now that this is one of the reasons that the automated polls have been more accurate than the exit polls in several states throughout the process.

    •  Good points. (0+ / 0-)
      I was thinking along the same lines, but you fleshed out the idea much better. Also, the robo-call pollsters, because the method is so much cheaper, may be able to use a far larger sample population for their polls, which would tend to lead to a more accurate result.

      "I'm asking you to believe. Not just in my ability to bring about real change in Washinton...I'm asking you to believe in yours." - Barack Obama

      by Wordie on Wed May 28, 2008 at 05:14:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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