Are Political Pollsters Undercounting the Unwired?

Some political pollsters appear to be undercounting the support for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama by not including people who have only wireless phones, Bernstein Research analysts Craig Moffett and Patricia Pan in a research piece today.

The Bernstein analysts note that according to a December 2007 survey conducted by the Center for Disease Control, about 16 percent of Americans now have only wireless phones, and no landlines. That group tends to skew young: The CDC found that a third of the population 18-29 years old have only wireless devices. The analysts note as well that “there is compelling evidence that younger voters”–those most likely to have only wireless phones–strongly favor Obama. They note a USA Today/MTV/Gallup poll that found 18-29 year old voters support Obama over Republican John McCain by 61 percent to 32 percent.

A Pew Research Center study on the topic of wireless bias, they add, found that the cellphone-only population preferred Obama over McCain by 55-36 percent.

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