The Gallup organization announced on Wednesday that they have adjusted their daily tracking poll sample to an even 50-50 split between Americans contacted on landlines versus cell phones, having implemented the change Oct. 1. Previously, 40 percent of the organization's tracking poll samples consisted of Americans reached by cell phone.
"This means that our weights to various phone targets in the sample can be smaller, given that the actual percentage of cell phones and cell-phone-only respondents in the sample is higher," Gallup's editor-in-chief Frank Newport wrote. "We have instituted some slight changes in our weighting procedures, including a weight for the density of the population area in which the respondent lives. Although all Gallup surveys are weighted consistently to census targets on demographic parameters, we believe that these improvements provide a more consistent match with weight targets."
The increasing number of Americans that can only be reached by cell phone has caused pollsters to adjust their methods over time, as Gallup has in this case. Only live telephone interview polls are allowed to call citizens on their cell phones, while automated polls are prohibted by federal regulations from calling cell phones.