Political pollsters gets ghosted by Gen Z
The Future. Political polling is becoming a lost art as young voters reject annoying robocalls and robotexts. While pollsters are trying to shift to a social media strategy to collect more accurate predictions, new standards of data privacy and the waning popularity of many mainstream platforms may make the changes less forward-thinking than hoped.
Votes blue, but left on read
The traditional way of knowing how a demographic stands on political issues is becoming obsolete.
- According to The Verge, pollsters typically try to survey voters through robocalls and robotexts. There were 25 million calls and 1.29 billion texts in October alone.
- But young people just… ignore them.
- That’s a major reason why pundits were surprised when many Democrats in battleground states actually ended up winning by much wider than expected — many Gen Z voters skew Democrat.
And, relatively, a lot of young people came out to vote. Roughly 27% of Americans between 18 and 29, according to the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement at Tufts University. It was as high as 31% in swing states such as Michigan and Pennsylvania.
Over the past decade, overall youth voter engagement has been around 20%. That number spiked in 2018 when 36% showed up at the polls.
A social view
The polling industry is trying to update to the social media age.
- They relied heavily on Facebook and Instagram, but Apple’s privacy changes have made targeting difficult.
- Snap introduced a Snapchat lens that asked users to answer surveys that could then be posted on their Stories.
- John Ray, director of polling at YouGov Blue, said that that focus now needs to be put on Twitter and Discord.
- Ray also said they’re exploring ways to embed surveys in YouTube channels.
But with the struggles around data privacy and the threat of online backlash, getting younger voters to give out their actual opinions willingly may be harder than ever.