Questions about political polls

Post date: 2020-10-20 02:57:38
Views: 8
Do live interviewers in phone polls know who's paying for their poll? Would they tell me if I asked? Do pollsters know anything about my political affiliations or how often I've voted in the past?

If I get a call from a pollster, they generally say who they work for near the beginning of the call, but the names of polling organizations are usually pretty bland and opaque, e.g. Surname] Research Strategies, which doesn't tell me anything about who I'm giving the information to, and has on occasion led to me getting halfway into a push poll before I realize that's what's going on. But: a lot of the calls I get are likely being commissioned by specific parties or candidates. Is there any harm in asking the interviewer who's paying for the poll before I start answering questions? How likely are they to know? If they do know, how likely are they to tell me? If they do tell me, is there any strategic advantage to accepting polls from some groups and not others, or to accepting all polls but lying to some of them?

I know that in some cases, the pollster got my phone number by dialing randomly, but are there any polling organizations that connect my number to my voting history or party affiliation (both of which are public in my state), or past responses to polls from the same pollster? For computerized polls without a live interviewer, if I'm actually a 20-year-old Democratic woman, will the pollster know I'm lying if I say I'm a 75-year-old Republican man, and discount my responses accordingly? (If so, why do they ask for age, gender, party affiliation, etc. anyway?)

Bonus questions:

Why do so many live interviewers have very strong accents? It seems like the companies would want the questions to be as clear as possible, and yet I struggle to understand about two out of three live callers (sometimes they also struggle to understand me, especially if I don't respond with exactly the words they're expecting).*

If I realize I'm in a push poll, should I continue to the end or hang up right then? Is there any way to respond that makes people less likely to do future push polls (even if only incrementally less likely)?


* I'm assuming the answer is some version of, people with accents take the jobs they can get, same as anybody else. It feels worth asking anyway because it sometimes seems like pollsters are actively selecting for people who are difficult to understand, and that doesn't make any sense.
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