I got push-polled yesterday by the Rep. Charlie Melancon for Senate campaign. It started when a female, sounding about college-aged, from the 757 (Norfolk, VA) area code called and asked about my interest in the “November poll.” When I said I had interest in that “election,” she figured I was good to go and asked whether I’d answer some questions about it.
Off she went, and when she couldn’t pronounce “Melancon” correctly I knew this would be interesting. After questions about my certainty and enthusiasm about voting, party identification and ideological identification and a few feeling thermometer questions about Melancon, Pres. Barack Obama, Sen. Mary Landrieu, Gov. Bobby Jindal, and Sen. David Vitter, and vote intention, she got right to the point after I had rated Republican Vitter relatively highly compared to the Democrats and said he was my first-choice vote.
After a few questions on issues such as taxes and candidate competence, out came seven “questions” that were lengthy assertions about Vitter which concentrated in two areas, trying to imply he was for redistribution of wealth to the wealthy and that he had a vendetta against women. Knowing better, I answered these arguments were “nor persuasive.”
After answering again that Vitter was my first-choice vote and giving some demographic information, I asked her who her employer was, wondering whether it was Anazlaone-Liszt which works with Democrat candidates and has enabled through the intervention of sympathetic reporters to get its previous favorable polling for Melancon disseminated to the wider public (which does show up on his latest campaign finance report and is based in Washington, DC). She said it was company policy not to be told who was doing the polling, and that many respondents have asked that question, so it would seem a lot of people are on to this.
So it would appear that Melancon is trying to push people, as the purpose of a push poll is to phrase questions in a way that will convey a negative campaign message about an opponent, to buy into a narrative that Vitter is a tool of wealthy interests and behaves unethically especially in relation to women. This is consistent with his entire campaign of trying to make Vitter look unethical while avoiding any real debate on issues such as government spending.
But if I had access to data which I obviously don’t, I would imagine any kind of analysis would show the two strongest factors driving vote intention were views on Melancon and Vitter on spending and their relationship to a Democrat agenda driven by Obama. And these stack up decisively against Melancon, with the latter providing perhaps the most blatant Captain Obvious moment of the entire contest, epitomized in the Baton Rouge Advocate where apparently fewer than seven weeks from the election it has figured out that “Obama might be issue for Melancon.”
Hello? If Melancon didn’t vote for the Obama agenda over 80 percent of the time for a president whose approval rating in the state was less than half that, he might not be so intimately connected to him and thought so poorly of in the minds of voters. Vitter’s campaign is making sure that potential voters know about Melancon’s liberal voting record in Congress that has become increasingly leftist in recent years which will not win him fans in a conservative state.
Posted by Jeff Sadow at 07:00