In this digital age, is election polling becoming more and more worthless?

In the old days, everyone had a home phone and no one knew who was calling when it rang. This meant just about everyone answered the phone when it rang. For election sampling, this worked great because it allowed a pretty good random sampling of the population.

But in today’s world, home phones are rare and everyone knows who’s calling. When the pollsters get someone to answer, it’s no longer a random sampling. It’s someone who has some combination of

  • Has a home phone line
  • Answers calls from unknown numbers
  • Answers calls when the caller id is something like ‘Pro Life Survey’

The people answering phone surveys are no longer a random sample of the population.

And it’s pretty foolish to even answer a phone poll these days since it’s not anonymous. There’s a very good chance its actually a marketing company looking to create a profile on you for further marketing opportunities.

So without the ability to call a random sample and have most of them answer the phone, is there any way for election polling to be accurate?