We are the 91%. Only 9% of Americans Cooperate with Pollsters.
The percentage of households in a sample that are successfully interviewed – the response rate – has fallen dramatically. At Pew Research, the response rate of a typical telephone survey was 36% in 1997 and is just 9% today.
Breaking down the numbers a bit, we can see that this is due to two reasons: 38% of the households contacted were unreachable in the first place, leaving only a 62% “contact rate.” But among that 62%, only 14% “cooperated” with the pollsters; the remaining 86% of contactees presumably slammed down the phone or simply refused to answer. Since 86% of 62% of the population are non-cooperators, that leaves us with the astonishing conclusion that…
53% of Americans actively refuse to answer poll questions.
It's interesting to note the reasons given for this refusal:
Here’s a summary of some of the anecdotes and reasons for non-response from the comments section below; the number preceding each line is the number of commenters who cited that rationale:
13 – I have caller ID and never answer any call from any number that is either unknown or blocked.
12 – I do answer, but I often lie and give false answers, just to screw with them.
11 – I do not respond because I suspect that callers identifying themselves as “pollsters” are more likely telemarketers, fraudsters or deceptive political operatives engaged in “push-polling.”After we saw what was was done to Joe the Plumber for asking a simple question of Obama, can you blame anyone for not wanting to answer some pollster?
As Instapundit would say, read the whole thing.