Monday, April 28, 2008

push polling in the 7th

i got called for two telephone polls today on my cell phone.

the first call was a local number and the caller identified herself as being with the orentlicher campaign. she asked how likely i was to vote and whom i planned to vote for. when she heard that my answer wasn't david o, she asked if i was still listening to other candidates and suggested i check

about an hour later i got a call from the 305 area code (i later looked it up: miami). the caller had a foreign accent that i took to be latin (though perhaps i came up with this later when i saw it was miami) and identified himself as being with an opinion survey. first he asked whether i had a positive or negative opinion on various democratic figures (7th district front-runners mays, myers, carson, & orentlicher). then my choice for president and whether i was fully committed to that candidate or just leaning. then my choice for 7th district and level of commitment.

then he read me some messages (paraphrased):
  • david orentlicher will stand up to special interests and won't take their money.
  • andré carson takes special interest money.
  • woody myers is self-financing his campaign.

there was no message about carolene mays, whom i'd already said i had a negative opinion of. he asked how likely these were to change my vote (they weren't), and just to be sure he again asked whom i'd vote for in the 7th, then finally asked my age and race, and reminded me this was just an "opinion survey".

the second call seemed like a textbook push poll. and perhaps i'm just cynical, but my first thought was that maybe my answers to the first call prompted the second.

then i went out for a bit, before i could blog about the calls, and when i got back i had an upset email from my mother claiming that she'd also received a push poll this evening. this pollster identified herself as being from "AP research for Indiana" and tried to pass on a negative message about woody myers failing to get health care passed in washington. this caller was also heavily accented, though they guessed her to be from somewhere like india.

the details are different enough that i can't be positive the two push polls were related. then again, the fact that they all came tonight is awfully suspicious. at any rate, at least one campaign is doing push-polling, and the obvious culprit would seem to be the orentlicher campaign.

update: apparently vox populi got a push poll from AP research back in march. at that time, AP research fed him negative messages about orentlicher and carson. it seems unlikely that there would be two AP researches or that the group would switch sides, which suggests that the carolene mays campaign is behind the AP research calls.

that doesn't explain why the call i received would feed me positive messages about david o. i can't see the mays campaign doing that. the logical conclusion would seem to be that both mays and orentlicher are now doing push polling.

1 comment:

Vox Populi said...

My theory wasn't so much that it was a "push" poll as much as it was one of the campaigns trying to test what message they should close with. If the "Carson accepts special interest money" message gets good feedback, they'll close with it.

My guess is Myers. Orentlicher doesn't want to damage his reputation with the party, and he's run a clean campaign so far. Myers has nothing to lose, and everything to gain by going negative.