Cell Phone Voters

By: Troy Kinsey Email
By: Troy Kinsey Email

TALLAHASSEE 9/24/2012 -- In condos and bungalows, apartments and dorm rooms, it's happening a lot more often.

Pulling the plug on your home phone can be an easy call, especially if you're strapped for cash and even easier if you already have a cell phone.

About the only problem, many political polls only contact voters who have land lines.

That's why Florida Democratic Party Chairman Rod Smith thinks his candidates are doing a lot better than they look.

"The cell phone is replacing the home phone in many instances. The computer is replacing the cell phone in many instances. And so, consequently, I think polling is having come challenges in terms of keeping up," said Smith.

In fact, a new analysis finds finds polls measuring the feelings of voters with only a cell phone give President Obama a two-and-a-half point boost in Florida.

Land line polls give the advantage to Mitt Romney by two points.

Having already thrown away their home phone, cell phone-only voters have become one of the most critical new constituencies in Florida politics.

But, the question now is if they'll throw away their vote, as well.
Because cell phone-only voters tend to be less well off financially, political consultants think they may lean democratic.

It's up to people like organizer Jamaal Rose to track them down - by cell phone, of course - and get them to turn out at the polls.

"Everyone doesn't have a land line and everyone doesn't have the same address as they had four years ago, but what they do have is a cell phone, a Facebook and a Twitter that they check on a regular basis," said Rose.

Republicans are skeptical cell phone only-voters are very enthusiastic this go-around, especially if they've been hit hard by the recession.

But, Chairman Smith points out, at every political rally he's been to lately, cell phone cameras are out in force.

The challenge, converting all those cell phones into votes.

Political strategists say they have different ways of getting a hold of your cell phone number.

Most times it's from online retailers that have sold you something in the past.

If your number is on file, chances are good you'll be getting a call from a campaign sometime during the next six weeks.


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