A push poll is a political campaign technique in which an individual or organization attempts to influence or alter the view of respondents under the guise of conducting a poll. Push polls are generally viewed as a form of negative campaigning.The poll started out innocently enough, but I started to have my doubts when one of the initial questions was how likely would I be to vote for Carl Romanelli, the Green Party candidate, if I heard that he was the only pro choice candidate running for Senator.
Push polling has been condemned by the American Association of Political Consultants.
Midway through the rather lengthy survey, they asked how do the following attributes accurately describe Santorum. There were about ten or so and only two were negative: "doesn't represent people like me" and "is out of touch." I guess not even Ricky's supporters think that associating these qualities with Tricky Ricky could put ideas in people's minds that weren't already there. There was no corresponding list for Casey (or Romanelli).
But of course, they saved the best for last. There were ten or twelve questions that were the real "push" as in "pushing" voters away from Casey. They would read a statement and you were to answer if that statement made you more likely to vote for Santorum or Casey. All of the statements were Rick-positive and Bob-negative along the lines of "Santorum wants to insure that terrorist don't creep across our border, but Casey wants to let millions of aliens in. Would knowing this make you more likely to vote for Santorum or Casey?"
After the second or third question like this, I interrupted the interviewer and said to her, Jesus! This is such a push poll! You know the definition of push poll, don't you?"
She responded with, "Ma'am, I'm just doing my job."
Yeah, she knew too and because I've been on the other end of the phone for more surveys/polls than I can count, I let her finish it. Besides, it keeps them tied up with me instead of someone who might not be in on the "joke."
My Caller ID displayed the following info for this call:
"Venture Data3, 541-868-1309"
Geez, Ricky/Ricky's buddies! Can't you at least push poll from this state? That's an area code for Oregon. You'd at least think he could have went with a Virginia company...
Anyway, googling "Venture Data3" only got me to a page where people bitched about how many calls they received from that number. However, googling "Venture Data" lead me to VentureData Telephone Collection Experts. Venture Data does have a call center located in OREGON (Remember, the call had an Oregon area code).
And get this, if they are the same "Venture Data" who called me, they need to reread their own stated policy on push polls:
Our Policy Regarding Push PollsJust to be super clear on all this I've worked for market research firms that did political polling (as an interviewer, monitor, editor, head supervisor and coding director), as well as being an interviewer for NBC's Election Division in the mid 80's (we shared the floor with the writers for Saturday Night Live -- Dennis Miller was a prick even back then) so I KNOW A PUSH POLL WHEN I SEE ONE. And, kiddies, this was one PUSHY POLL!
Venture Data L.L.C. is a survey research company based in Salt Lake City, Utah. The company operates call centers located in Eugene, OR and Spokane, WA. We, the ownership and staff of Venture Data, are committed to providing our clients with accurate consumer and voter opinion data. We use industry standard scientific methodologies and practices for telephone based survey research to collect opinion data.
We recognize that in the heat of highly charged election campaigns tempers will flare and accusations of impropriety are likely to fly.
In light of this, we want to make it clear that Venture Data L.L.C. has never conducted nor participated in what is commonly referred to as "push polling." Our activities are strictly limited to conducting telephone survey research wherein we gather the opinions of a limited number of representative voters and deliver that data to our clients. We adhere to strict methodological standards. [emphasis added]
I also know that doing push polls is a real sign of DESPERATION.
I'd love to know who was paying for this piece of tripe "poll." Wouldn't you?
UPDATE: Coming soon!
"Sun Jun 04, 2006 at 19:01:09 PM MDT
A controversial Utah firm frequented by the GOP and implicated in scandal is push polling this evening for Rich Tarrant in Vermont."