Report by Paula Antolini
September 22, 2018, 10:55PM EDT
OPINION/LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Letter to the Editor: ‘Push Poll’ Telemarketing Calls Falsely Painting Candidate Sen. Boucher in Negative Light
Letter to the Editor from Weston, CT resident Michele Tivey, who received a push poll call:
My statement on push poll:
I’m a veteran of political campaigns, having worked on two presidential campaigns and run campaigns myself.
I’ve worked to elect women candidates from the Republican, Democrat, and Independent parties and I’m very well aware of what a “push poll” is. I’ve never witnessed a push poll against a candidate that has contained this volume of questions, and so many that are patently false.
At one point in the poll, I was asked if I’d changed my mind yet, and whether I’d be voting for the candidates running against Senator Boucher. When I responded that I hadn’t changed my mind, I was read multiple negative questions painting Senator Boucher in a very negative light and repeatedly lying about her record on issues from education funding, and tax reform, to healthcare, and LGBTQ rights.
Each time I was asked whether these statements had made me more concerned about voting for Senator Boucher. And each time I stated that since these statements were outright lies I was more concerned about whomever had written them than I was about voting to re-elect the Senator.
This incident, which I’m sure is being repeated to hundreds if not thousands of voters in our County, is dishonest and shameful. I would never trust a political candidate or group who tried to gain voters this way. I remain more confident than ever that voting to re-elect Senator Boucher is the right choice for Fairfield County.
A so-called “push poll” is an insidious form of negative campaigning, disguised as a political poll. “Push polls” are not surveys at all, but rather unethical political telemarketing — telephone calls disguised as research that aim to persuade large numbers of voters and affect election outcomes, rather than measure opinions. This misuse of the survey method exploits the trust people have in research organizations and violates the AAPOR Code of Professional Ethics and Practices.—American Association for Public Opinion Research