Do we *really* need telephone polls? Do I really care what my neighbours think about a particular issue? This article makes it sound as though the entire world is just going to fall to pieces unless a nice chunk of representative American households complete lengthy surveys by telephone on a regular basis:
I don't think I've ever answered telephone surveys that were randomly generated. I think I've answered a total of ONE survey, ever. That was from my local city, and it was well-publicized that they'd be calling some households to ask about how happy we were with city services, etc. I had some nice things to say about the road repair crew, because when I called about a problem they were out in less than HALF AN HOUR and fixed the problem (yay!). I had some not-nice things to say about city planning and schools. I think their goal was 1,000 households so I had, like, 1/1000th of an impact on a survey that the city planners might get 'round to looking at. Go me!!