“Has a robocall ever influenced your vote?”


“Dear PoPville,

I’ve been driven crazy for the past month by nightly robocalls from one of the mayoral candidates. To the point where I scream an obscenity. How about a survey about robocalls from politicians? Like ‘did a robocall ever influence your vote?’ ‘did it make you vote for or against the caller?’

30 Comment

  • No, but I think they can help remind people to vote.

  • Yes, robocalls and other forms of aggressive campaigning influence my vote, in that they make me more likely to vote against the candidate using them.
    Your poll isn’t going to work, I’m afraid. You need to have it say “has a robocall made you more likely to vote FOR the candidate”. Because influence goes both ways.

  • I Dont Get It

    I talk dirty to them.

  • My landline has been besieged by robocalls (and some live callers) the past week or two. It’s gotten to the point where I’ve been screening calls via my answering machine.

  • Of course everyone says “No”, just like how everyone says that advertising doesn’t influence them.
    All research says otherwise. It works subconsciously to influence your stance on certain issues, which translates into influencing degree of party affiliation and thus voting patterns.

    • You are assuming that people actually listen to them. I bet the percentage that are actually heard is extremely small.

      • If people did not listen to them, then campaigns wouldn’t waste money on the calls. Even if you’re listening to them out of “ironic amusement,” the calls are working to influence you. I think you’re projecting your own actions (and perhaps the homogenous social bubble you surround yourself with) to the wider electorate. Push polling and robo calls are effective.

    • You’re right. But I answered “no” because I’ve never received one.

    • I’d like to see the research you’re referring to, because I’ve seen host of research on the effectiveness of robocalls on getting out the vote, and it has conclusively shown that they don’t work. Live calls, door knocks, mailers, etc. all work to some extent. Robocalls have no effect.

  • Thery’re the reason I don’t have a landline.

  • Tell them to remove your number from their call list. I’m pretty sure they have to do that if you ask them (I’m sure some of them dont, but it can’t hurt!).

    • Political calls are exempt from the do not call list, so they do not have to remove you, but robocalls are prohibited to cell phones, even if political. If you receive a robocall on your cell phone, you can report it to the FCC.

  • no – but then I really don’t bother to listen do them. Once I determine it is a robo call I either hand up or delete the message.

    • I set the phone down, I like to think that while they’re on my line they can’t bother anyone else for a couple of minutes.

  • While I think robocalls are lazy, live callers can be nice. I usually don’t like them, but one live caller spent some quality time on the phone with my father-in-law who was truly uninformed about the Maine gay marriage ballot initiative. Helped him understand what was really going on, and he ended up voting YES for gay marriage in Maine, which warmed my heart!!

  • While I don’t think robocalls would work to influence the PoPville demographic, they may be successful with many older voters who may not have kept up with the latest election news.

  • Yesterday a friend was live-calling voters in New Hampshire and talked to an elderly man who sounded isolated, depressed and in need of some help, so she called local adult protective services to recommend they contact him. At least one bit of good.

  • I’ve never gotten a robocall! One of the blessings of not having a land line, or what?

  • this is a non-insignificant reason why i have my own VOIP phone service running at my house. i have the ability to have a blacklist of callers, or a white list (only permitted calls get it), or check the calls with websites (eg, whocalled.com) which can flag it as spam before it even is able to ring my home phone.

    You have to be a little bit of a geek to want to do this, but it’s pretty easy to do and not costly.


  • austindc

    I got a call from Alex Murphy that influenced my vote once, so yes.

  • I’m surprised that so many of your readers don’t know what a robocall is. Oh, wait, no I’m not 😀

  • These are so annoying. We’ve had several calls per day for weeks. By the time we got one at 9pm last night, we were so fed up that my wife answered the phone and told off the caller (in this case it was an actual person). Bad enough to get so many phone calls, but can’t they end at a reasonable time in the evening?

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