Note: This article appears backdated because it was delayed by technical difficulties.
A week or so ago I received a phone call from a polling organization. I donate money from time to time to political organizations, including various conservative organizations and candidates, and the NRA, so I get lots of political mail soliciting more donations, and for the past few years, the occasional phone call.
This one was asking me for my opinion. It sounded like your average poll — “Do you support X Very Much, Somewhat, Somewhat Against, or Very Much Against?” and so forth.
This one was unusual, though, for a couple reasons. First, it was unusually long. They asked several general questions about what causes and ideas I support, and then they moved into a section regarding two local candidates for Congress.
This last part was the interesting part, because it’s where the poll suddenly veered into the realm of dirty politics. The guy said “Okay, I’m going to give you arguments why you might vote against [the Democrat]. These are reasons given by his opponents. Tell me if this reason would influence you a lot to support the candidate, somewhat to support him, somewhat against him, or a lot against him.” There were a whole bunch of these , probably fifteen or twenty. Then he moved on to reasons to vote for the Democrat — these of course being the arguments made by his supporters. Again with the range of for/against for each argument. Then he moved on to the reasons to vote against the Republican, and finally…
“Okay, that’s the end of the questions. Thanks and you have a good night.”
Did you notice the problem there? I think the idea is that they ask you so many damned questions that by the time he says he’s done, you’re happy to hang up. What he’s hoping you didn’t notice what that he never got around to naming any of the reasons people give to vote for the Republican. First, against the Dem, then FOR the Dem, then AGAINST the Republican. This completes our impartial poll. ‘Night folks!
It’s called a “push poll“. It’s illegal in some areas, though not mine, and incredibly unethical. Admittedly, this one was a bit more subtle than most. It’s a new tactic I haven’t heard of before — the poll would have been legit if they’d only balanced the equation.
Illinois politics is such a goddamned embarrassment. Still these hypocrites get elected. Vote early and vote often, as they say.
(in case you didn’t get the title….)