Archive for May 17th, 2008

by jhwygirl

News of this comes to us via jockyoung of Daily Kos, who received a push-polling call yesterday from “Central Research” – a mysterious New York research firm.

Here’s his report:

With the Montana primary approaching, I just received an anti-Baucus push poll that was fairly well disguised as a legitimate poll. It wasn’t particularly nasty, but with standard push poll types of questions like “Would you be more or less likely to vote for Baucus if you knew he voted to raise your taxes over 200 times?” Has anyone else in Montana received this call yet?

All I could get from the questioner was that he was calling out of New York and worked for “Central Research.” I don’t know if the fact that he had trouble reading the questions had anything to do with the nature of the outfit. Has anyone heard about this? Is this sufficiently egregious that we should look into it, or has this become standard campaign fare?

The poll started off with a few minutes of various standard poll questions about voting preference, candidate favorability, and opinions on standard issues. They asked about all federal offices in Montana as well as Governor Schweitzer (which he couldn’t pronounce correctly). Although they tried to mix things up pretty well, it was clear they were focusing on Max Baucus (he even had trouble with that one).

After a couple of rounds of that, it went directly to the push poll, starting with “Would you be more or less likely to vote for Baucus if you knew the following statements to be true.” I refused to answer each one of these, but stayed for all 10-15 of them to see what was going on.

They were fairly standard loaded questions on hot button issues like ANWR, the “death tax,” gay marriage, and Congressional pay raises (e.g. “His salary has tripled while median income for Montanans has gone down.”)

They then of course ended with the classic question: “Knowing the above statement to be true, NOW would you be willing to vote for Baucus regardless of his opponent?”

Besides being a push poll, I assume this was an attempt to find out which attack ads would have the most effect with voters – the questions were worded as typical attack-ad rhetoric.

What do we do about these things? I don’t have time to go on a lone crusade to figure this out and complain, but I would certainly participate if others wanted to look into it.

Has anyone else in Montana received this call yet?

I’m wondering the same – has anyone gotten this call? – although they probably wasted little $ calling Missoula, I know we’ve got readers from other corners of the state.

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