Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Cell-Phone-Only by State

Cell phones are already a problem for pollsters. To make matter worse, the cell-phone-only population varies by state. Only 15 percent of adults live in a cell-phone-only household in Rhode Island, according to the latest state-level estimates from the National Center for Health Statistics. The figure is a much larger 42 percent in North Dakota. Within states, the cell-phone-only population varies from county to county as well. In Dallas County, Texas, the 53 percent majority of adults live in a cell-phone-only household. In Texas counties outside the state's large metros, only 38 percent are cell-phone-only.

What's a pollster to do? Experiment, tinker, reformulate, and recalculate in an attempt to reach the increasingly elusive American public. On November 6 the pollsters and the public will find out who got it right and who has to go back to the drawing board.

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, Wireless Substitution: State-Level Estimates from the National Health Interview Survey, 2010-2011

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