Telephone response rates to public opinion polls have fallen again, and among the factors depressing participation could be the rise in automated telemarketing calls, according to report published Wednesday by the Pew Research Center.
The response rate for Pew's phone poll in 2018 fell to 6 percent, continuing a long-term decline in response rates. The organization said it was moving the "lion's share" of its surveys to its online platform.
"We felt like we were sort of at this transition point," Courtney Kennedy, the director of survey research at Pew, said in a phone interview with Politico.
"It's our sense that that exponential increase in robocalls, spoofing of incoming calls, pretending they're a local number, has really changed the environment in using a cell phone," she added.
Response rates had previously held steady at 9 percent for several years after following a six-point percent dip in 2011. Telephone surveys conducted in 1997 had a response rate of 36 percent.
Pew's American Trends Panel was the main data source for most of the center's reports on U.S. political and social attitudes and behavior in 2018.
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