February 18, 2016

Cell phones and polling for #FeelTheBern

With the Nevada caucuses just two days ahead on the Democratic side, we move from Iowa and New Hampshire to a minority-heavy state, especially on the Democratic side — despite the lies of the Clinton campaign about this.

Beyond the obvious minority levels, the Census Bureau reminds us that, unlike Iowa and New Hampshire, Nevada is also slightly younger than the national average. We know that cord-cutting is a lot more common among younger age cohorts. And, among the poorer.

Finally, we know that Sanders supporters trend younger.

The age gap, for all we know, may be the biggest in a presidential campaign since Clean Gene McCarthy in 1968, or at least since McGovern in 1972.

For a few years now, there's been discussion of what pollsters are, or are not, doing to address the cord-cutter issue in general.

Pew said last year that it would add to the percentage of cellphones in its research survey calling. However, that's research surveying, not presidential preference polling.

Pollsters admit that the cord-cutting issue, especially when combined with demographic issues of it being more common among those statistically less likely to vote, and the added mix of additional polling costs to call cellphones, lead to a conundrum.

We'll see how the latest version of the conundrum shakes out on Saturday and in days ahead.

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