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An 800 poll is a one-question unscientific “survey” that is taken by having daily newspaper readers, television viewers, and/or radio listeners call into a toll-free 1-800-number that involves no cost to the caller. A different 800-number is given for each “response” that the poll allows the self-selected respondents to choose as their answer to whatever the survey question is. These polls are typically sponsored over a one-day period (or part of a day) by media organizations that produce news. For example, callers who “agree” and those who “disagree” with whichever issue position is being surveyed use separate 800-numbers. It is possible to offer callers more than two answer choices, and thus more than two 800-numbers, but typically the polls utilize only two choices.

Such polls have ...

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