HUFFPOLLSTER: Smartphone Growth Is Transforming The Way We Use The Internet

04/02/2015 08:19 am ET | Updated Apr 02, 2015
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Smartphone usage transforms the way Americans access the internet, and offers new paths for polling. A new national poll gives Jeb Bush the edge for the GOP nomination. And jitters remain, despite rising economic confidence. This is HuffPollster for Thursday, April 2, 2015.

SIXTY-FOUR PERCENT OF U.S. NOW OWNS A SMARTPHONE - Aaron Smith on a new report from the Pew Research Center: "Today nearly two-thirds of Americans own a smartphone, and 19% of Americans rely to some degree on a smartphone for accessing online services and information and for staying connected to the world around them — either because they lack broadband at home, or because they have few options for online access other than their cell phone. Indeed, 7% of Americans own a smartphone but have neither traditional broadband service at home, nor easily available alternatives for going online other than their cell phone." [Pew]

Groups most reliant on smartphones for internet access - More from Smith: "Certain groups of Americans rely on smartphones for online access at elevated levels, in particular: Younger adults — 15% of Americans ages 18-29 are heavily dependent on a smartphone for online access. Those with low household incomes and levels of educational attainment — Some 13% of Americans with an annual household income of less than $30,000 per year are smartphone-dependent. Just 1% of Americans from households earning more than $75,000 per year rely on their smartphones to a similar degree for online access. Non-whites — 12% of African Americans and 13% of Latinos are smartphone-dependent, compared with 4% of whites."

Used to follow breaking news, share photos and video - Smith: "A majority of smartphone owners use their phone to follow along with breaking news, and to share and be informed about happenings in their local community; smartphones also help users navigate the world around them, from turn by turn driving directions to assistance with public transit...[Specifically,] 68% of smartphone owners use their phone at least occasionally to follow along with breaking news events, with 33% saying that they do this 'frequently.' 67% use their phone to share pictures, videos, or commentary about events happening in their community, with 35% doing so frequently. 56% use their phone at least occasionally to learn about community events or activities, with 18% doing this 'frequently.'"

Yes, that means growing potential for another '47 percent' video in 2016... - Dylan Byers: "On the media side, the rise in mobile usage will increase the number of citizen reporters, whose influence on recent political campaigns has been quite significant. Video footage of an errant remark — from George Allen's 'Macaca' moment in 2006 to Mitt Romney's '47 percent' moment in 2012 — can have more influence on a political campaign than any traditional news report. 'In 2011, one-third of Americans were essentially campaign trackers. Now two-thirds are,' said Tommy Vietor, a former Obama spokesperson. 'As we learned from the 47 percent video, catching a politician speaking bluntly in what they think is a private setting can change the course of a campaign.'" [Politico]

...but let's not get carried away - John Sides, via Twitter: "Today in OMG GAMECHANGERS OMG: Two-thirds of Americans are 'campaign trackers.'...I mean, in 2012, 50% of Americans didn't know Romney was governor of MA when given a list of MA, UT, TX, and MI." [@monkeycageblog here and here]

Pew conducted 'experience sampling' via smartphone... - More from Smith: "In addition to the surveys of smartphone owners that form the main findings of this report, the Pew Research Center also conducted an 'experience sampling' survey of smartphone owners as part of this project. In the experience sampling survey, smartphone owners were contacted twice a day over a period of one week and asked how they had used their phone in the hour prior to taking the survey." From the experience sampling, the researchers learned: "Text messaging is the most widely-used smartphone feature but voice/video calling remains popular, even among young smartphone owners; email continues to retain a place of prominence in the smartphone era....Social networking, video consumption, and music/podcasts are especially popular with younger smartphone owners." [Pew]

...and evaluated how the new methodology worked. - Pew Research: "Respondents were asked to complete two surveys per day for one week (using either a mobile app they had installed on their phone or by completing a web survey) and describe how they had used their phone in the hour prior to taking the survey." Their conclusion: "It is possible to conduct experience sampling method studies with a nationally representative survey panel. It is also possible to use an app for this purpose. App respondents can be used to represent all smartphone users both demographically and in their substantive survey responses. Apps also offer innovative features such as barcode scanning, passive data collection and offline capabilities. However "due to the disadvantages of using apps for surveys, researchers should proceed with caution: Apps results in lower response rates than web-based data collection, partly due to the technical difficulties that some potential respondents experience....Apps also have design constraints that are not present in web surveys. Finally, apps limit data collection to a mobile device which affects both response rates and who can participate in app surveys." [Pew]

BUSH LEADS THE GOP FIELD NATIONALLY, CLINTON LEADS OVERALL - Dan Balz and Scott Clement: "Former Florida governor Jeb Bush now leads the field of Republican candidates for the party’s 2016 presidential nomination, but former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton enjoys a decided advantage over Bush and other potential GOP rivals in hypothetical general election matchups, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll... In the contest for the Republican nomination, Bush tops the field with 20 percent of Republicans and GOP-leaning independents saying they would support him if their primary or caucus were held today. He is followed by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz at 13 percent and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker at 12 percent. Bush...enjoys his strongest support among moderate and liberal Republicans and among those who say they are “somewhat conservative... Among Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents, Clinton... has a 6-1 advantage over Vice President Biden and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, neither of whom has said they plan to run…Tested against four possible Republicans in a general election — Bush, Cruz, Walker and Rubio — Clinton holds double-digit leads in every case. Bush does marginally better than the others, but trails by 53 to 41 percent among registered voters, while Cruz runs weakest at 54 to 37 percent.” [WashPost]

BUSH LEADS IN FLORIDA, NOT IN OHIO AND PENNSYLVANIA - Quinnipiac: "Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is the front-runner in a possible 2016 presidential primary in Florida, but he is slipping there and stalled in two other key swing states, Ohio and Pennsylvania... Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is moving up and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas is back in the pack. Despite the firestorm over her use of e-mails as secretary of state, Hillary Clinton holds commanding leads, with 48 to 65 percent of Democrats in each state, topping her nearest challenger by 3-1 to 6-1... If Clinton stays out of the race, Vice President Joseph Biden leads the Democratic pack in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, with tallies ranging from 34 percent to 42 percent. Republican primary matchups show: Florida: Bush leads with 24 percent, down from 32 percent in a February 4 Quinnipiac University poll. Walker is next with 15 percent, with U.S. Sen Marco Rubio at 12 percent. Ohio: Gov. John Kasich gets the native son vote with 20 percent, with Walker, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee at 9 percent each, Bush at 8 percent, compared to 10 percent February 4, and Ben Carson at 8 percent. Pennsylvania: Walker at 14 percent with 9 percent each for Carson, former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum and Bush, who was at 12 percent last month." [Quinnipiac]

ECONOMIC CONFIDENCE UP, WITH JITTERS - Dana Blanton: "While a majority remains nervous about the economy these days, the number of voters feeling confident is growing. That’s according to the latest Fox News poll released Wednesday. Over half of voters, 55 percent, are nervous about the economy. That’s down from 65 percent who felt that way in 2013 and a high of 70 percent in 2010. At the same time, the poll finds 39 percent of voters are feeling confident, up significantly from 28 percent two years ago (March 2013)....Improved perceptions of the economy boost President Obama’s job ratings. Of the issues tested, he performs best on the economy: 45 percent of voters approve, while 52 percent disapprove....As for Obama’s overall performance, 45 percent of voters approve, while 50 percent disapprove. That’s still underwater, but hardly his hull-scraping low of 38 percent approval in September 2014." [Fox News]

HISTORY OF OPPOSITION TO PRIVATE SCHOOL VOUCHERS - Kathleen Weldon takes an extensive "look back at how Americans have seen the relationship between the public schools and private education" using data culled from the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research archives: "The earliest questions on the use of public funding for private education asked if federal education aid should be extended to private and parochial schools. In 1938, a Gallup poll found 55% of the country thought federal aid should be given only to public schools, while 36% thought it should also go to parochial schools such as Catholic, Lutheran and Quaker....Another approach to funding private school with tax dollars emerged in the 1970s: tax breaks for parents paying private school tuition. Although a 1979 CBS News/NYT poll found 60% favoring this idea, the public quickly soured on the notion. A majority disapproved in nearly all polls through the 80s and 90s, though a great deal of variation in the level of opposition can be seen depending on the language used to describe both the schools and the tax advantage." [HuffPost]


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THURSDAY'S 'OUTLIERS' - Links to the best of news at the intersection of polling, politics and political data:

-A new national automated poll shows Cruz moving up, Carson moving down. [PPP (D)]

-American express greater worry about flying after GermanWings crash. [YouGov]

-Working dads feel more guilty than working moms for not spending enough time with their kids. [Pew]

-The ACA has done more to reinforce than resolve the doubts about activist government among middle class white voters, writes Ron Brownstein. [National Journal]

-Shane Singh speculates that compulsory voting turns people sour towards the democratic system. [WashPost]

-Rhodes Cook ponders back-to-back drops in voter turnout in 2012 and 2014. [Sabato]

-Whit Ayres (R), pollster for Marco Rubio, says the Republican nominee will need more than 40 percent support from Latino voters to win. [National Journal]

-Republican pollsters Bill McInturff and Martin Shull offer observations on 25 years of party identification data from the NBC-Wall Street Journal poll. [POS]

Fifty-one percent of Cuban-Americans support the Obama policy on normalizing relations with Cuba. [Miami Herald]

-YouGov launches its "Election Centre" for 2015. [YouGov]

-American are split on whether Southerners should be allowed to have Confederate flag license plates. [YouGov]

-West Virginians are most likely to report using mood-altering drugs, while Alaskans are least likely. [Gallup]

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