Frankly, I'm surprised even 9 percent cooperate:
For decades survey research has provided trusted data about political attitudes and voting behavior, the economy, health, education, demography and many other topics. But political and media surveys are facing significant challenges as a consequence of societal and technological changes.
It has become increasingly difficult to contact potential respondents and to persuade them to participate. The percentage of households in a sample that are successfully interviewed – the response rate – has fallen dramatically. At Pew Research, the response rate of a typical telephone survey was 36% in 1997 and is just 9% today.
The general decline in response rates is evident across nearly all types of surveys, in the United States and abroad. At the same time, greater effort and expense are required to achieve even the diminished response rates of today. These challenges have led many to question whether surveys are still providing accurate and unbiased information.
There have been a lot of "don't trust the polls" commentaries lately -- because they oversample Democrats, or conservatives don't express their true feelings, or pollsters haven't caught up with the new mobile-phone technology -- etc., etc., etc. But this low level of cooperation is something I haven't seen anything on yet, and it's a big deal.
And I think the main reason is just that polls are a pain in the butt and are becoming more and more intrusive. As polling has become so omnipresent, the number of polls we're asked to participate in keeps growing. A poll is just one more junk phone call intruding on our time, so I just say no, every time.