When news organization want to find out what the public thinks about an issue, they often turn to opinion polling. Most of these surveys are of the telephone variety, meaning a random sample of people are called and asked if they would like to participate in a poll.

According to the Pew Research Center – which does a great deal of opinion polling — most say no. In all the surveys Pew has done 2012, only 14 percent of the people they reached on the phone agreed to participate. This marks a sharp decline from 1997 when 43 percent of the households contacted agreed to take part in the survey.

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