Systematic Bias of Telephone Surveys: Meta Analysis of 2007 Presidential Election Polls Kim, Se-Yong; Huh, Myung-Hoe;
For 2007 Korea presidential election, most polls by telephone surveys indicated Lee Myung-Bak led the second runner-up Jung Dong-Young by certain margin. The margin between two candidates can be estimated accurately by averaging individual poll results, provided there exists no systematic bias in telephone surveys. Most Korean telephone surveys via telephone directory are based on quota samples, with the region, the gender and the age-band as quota variables. Thus the surveys may result in certain systematic bias due to unbalanced factors inherent in quota sampling. The aim of this study is to answer the following questions by the analytic methods adopted in Huh et al. (2004): Question 1. Wasn't there systematic bias in estimates of support rates. Question 2. If yes, what was the source of the bias? To answer the questions, we collected eighteen surveys administered during the election campaign period and applied the iterated proportional weighting (the rim weighting) to the last eleven surveys to obtain the balance in five factors - region, gender, age, occupation and education level. We found that the support rate of Lee Myung-Bak was over-estimated consistently by 1.4%P and that of Jung Dong-Young was underestimated by 0.6%P, resulting in the over-estimation of the margin by 2.0%P. By investigating the Lee Myung-Bak bias with logistic regression models, we conclude that it originated from the under-representation of less educated class and/or the over-representation of house wives in telephone samples.