Why the LA Times is Experimenting with Online Polling

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Dating back decades, we’ve done phone polling, in which surveyors randomly dial phone numbers from a sampling of registered voters and pose a series of questions to people who answer and are willing to participate. (See our recent poll of the presidential race as an example.)


A successful interview can last anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes. Fewer people have land lines today, and resistance to participating in telephone polls has increased. Phone polls have long been considered the standard, but the polling industry is in flux. Some of the top organizations doing the surveys say costly and time-consuming phone polls are no longer the best method.

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