Are the State Republicans Push-polling on Senator Max Baucus?

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.

  1. I got the call, too.

    Was it a push poll, or a messaging poll? There actually was a whole lot of introductory info up front — so I suspect the latter, even though some of the questions at the end were incredibly biased.


    What I can’t figure out is why they’re even spending money on this kind of thing. It’s kind of like just p*ssing it away.

  2. goof houlihan

    “Caller ID”

  3. JC

    And once you get the number, check “”

  4. They identified themselves: Central Research. They also said where they were from: New York.

    Repubs can’t even seem to keep those jobs local.

    They pulled this on Tester. I got a couple of those calls- his were robo-calls, and they came from out-of-state – Texas, if I remember correctly.

  5. petetalbot

    Let’s hope the Republicans continue to do this. What a colossal waste of money! There is no way that any of the Republican candidates are going to come close to unseating Baucus.

    If this is indeed going on and is a genuine push poll, then Republican leadership has mush for brains.

  6. goof houlihan

    Heck the Montana Conservation voters push poll. I know fo’ a fact they do.

    It’s like robo calls, eh?

  7. Marcus

    The calls are actually coming from New Delhi. Each call costs approximately one-tenth of one cent. I am told that EVERY valid residential phone number in the state will be called. The results will be published under another research company’s name.

  8. I guess you could do them either way, the robocalls being pushbutton.

    The weird thing, back in ’06, is that my calls came to my cell phone – I think a lot of people were complaining about that – and I don’t get calls to my home phone.

    I wonder if it is because I’m on the do-not-call registry?

    Oh, the things I miss out on! :-)

  9. goof houlihan

    You can protect your cell phone number just like a land line.

  10. I didn’t know that – I guess I never thought about it.

    Thanks. Done.

    I wonder if it’ll stop those damned spam text messages too.

  11. Kent

    This morning, Sat Aug 23 I received a call from “Conquest Research”. I’m sure about the name, I asked him to say it again and I wrote it down. Started out with a laundry list of “What single issue concerns you the most in the upcoming election?” with the Iraq War/War on Terrorism conspicuously absent. The questions were all obviously loaded from the Republican perspective…”Do you support environmentally responsible drilling for oil and gas to help us achieve energy independence or are you against all drilling because of fear of possible environmental damage?”

    At the beginning of the poll I was asked if I would vote for the democrat or the republican in the state house race, with no names of candidates mentioned. Then I was asked the exact same question as the last question of the poll, but this time with the inclusion of both candidates names, JP Pomnichowski and Tom Burnett. The guy even stumbled over and mangled JP’s last name ( a mouthful for sure but when you are reading from a script over and over, you have to get it right at some point). It conveyed a subtle bias against a wierd, difficult to pronounce name.


  12. Thanks Kent…

    Apparently, more dirty politics from the Montana GOP. JP’s obviously a big threat.

    It’s a shame they don’t feel confident enough to play nice, don’t you think?

  13. goof houlihan

    since both sides do push polling, I guess it’s business as usual.

  14. goof houlihan

    And I saw the same mailer, a little different issue and message, aimed at John Sinrud. I saw both mailers, one from the Ds, one from the Rs. JP was honest enough to condemn both mailings. Too bad most will bless their own party, condemn the other. Hypocrisy to do otherwise, or “cry foul” without recognizing that both sides have done it.

  15. goof houlihan

    Even Shane Mason acknowledged the equivalency.

    “Comment by Shane C. Mason • Website •
    2007-03-11 14:53:07

    John, you are right in the spirit of your comment and are not going to get a fight from me on this. This kind of attack politics really isn’t OK and will receive no quarter from me regardless of where it comes from”

  1. 1 More Desperation From The Montana GOP

    […] throwing their money away in trying to increase negatives on such a known quantity as Sen. Baucus. Jhwygirl has a little more info over at 4 & 20. All in all, it isn’t much of a big deal that some mysterious GOP group is paying a call […]

  2. 2 More Dirty Politics from Montana GOP - Push-Polling JP Pomnichowski (HD-63) « 4&20 blackbirds

    […] Kent, a poster, gives us some news on a push poll he received Saturday morning. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

  • Pages

  • Recent Comments

    Miles on A New Shelter for Vets or an E…
    success rate for In… on Thirty years ago ARCO killed A…
    Warrior for the Lord on The Dark Side of Colorado
    Linda Kelley-Miller on The Dark Side of Colorado
    Dan on A New Shelter for Vets or an E…
    Former Prosecutor Se… on Former Chief Deputy County Att…
    JediPeaceFrog on Montana AG Tim Fox and US Rep.…
  • Recent Posts

  • Blog Stats

    • 1,689,716 hits
  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 2,734 other followers

  • May 2008
    S M T W T F S
  • Categories

%d bloggers like this: