Any way you cut it, it's clear that the robo call really arrived this year -- and was mostly overlooked as a prominent new weapon in campaign strategists' arsenals.
Underscoring its reputation as a "stealth" campaign tactic, a new poll shows that two-thirds of registered voters got at least one robo call during the midterm election season.The poll
, conducted by The Pew Internet and American Life Project, found that 64% of registered U.S. voters got at least one recorded phone call in 2006. And that's across the country -- you can bet that percentage was much higher in competitive districts.
Only direct mail was a more popular method for campaigns, reaching 71% of voters. But the robo call blew out other more traditional forms of campaigning like going door to door (only 18% of voters were reached that way) or getting a phone call from a real live human being (24%). Pew didn't even bother to track robo calling in 2004.
So, what percentage of those who got a robo call got two, three, or a dozen more? How many got six calls in a row
? We still don't know.