Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Push polling

John Dickerson finds Republican push polling efforts to be 'lame'

There have been many reports of push polling efforts so clumsy that one really does wonder who is behind them. If it is the GOP then they are really off their game. If the Democrats are using the polls to fire up their base they have suddenly found an extra helping of devious.

I don't think it at all likely that Democrats will turn out to be behind them but the very fact that the question can be asked shows how bad they are. The whole point of a push poll is to present partisan attacks as authoritative facts. Voters are unlikely to be fooled when they are asked about an opponents purported support for terrorists, pedophiles and rapists.

What seems to be going on here is that campaign finance reform is having an effect. Independent groups are not allowed to coordinate with the candidate's campaign. So when an independent smear operation goes off the rails there is no way to (legally) pull it back.

On the other hand Ken Blackwell, the bizzare Ohio candidate for Governor did accuse his opponent of supporting NAMBLA in person in a debate so maybe the push polls reflect the way that the GOP actually thinks about politics.

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