Monday, November 26, 2007

Push Polling: An Underutilized Technique

We're in the process of kicking off a new Grassroots Hillary campaign for all of you to participate in. We'll get more into the details in the coming days ahead, but I thought it would be best to start with an introduction into the topic, because it's fairly unknown to many supporters. This is a tactic called push polling, where a campaign attempts to influence or alter the view of respondents under the guise of conducting a poll. Normal political polling is usually done by third party firms in order to gauge the popularity of candidates and issues. A call center employs a number of workers to make thousands of phone calls to homes all across America. The polling agents in this situation strive to be as objective as possible, so as not to skew the results. What makes push polling different is its objective: instead of trying to gauge the popularity of different candidates, it attempts to get the word out about a specific candidate or issue.

As unethical as this tactic may appear at first glance, it has actually been used for years in various campaigns. George W. Bush used the push polling tactic against Senator McCain while competing in the 2000 republican primary. Obviously it worked, because George Bush ended up winning by a landslide. Push polling also is already being used in the republican primaries this election in order to cast public doubt on Mitt Romney's ability to lead as a Mormon. This is obviously not for the light hearted, but if you took a light hearted approach to presidential campaigning, I'm not sure you'd make it very far.

What we plan to do in this grassroots push polling campaign is 2 fold: increase the public's awareness about Hillary Clinton's strong points, and to raise questions about the opponents' flaws. This is just like marketing, except we're selling ideas, not products. And what we're offering is a chance to take back America and be proud once again to live in this great nation of ours. This would not be such an important time for Hillary if the opposition wasn't so deeply corrupt, but we here at Vote for Hillary Online believe this is our only chance at restoring prosperity.

Now, we're just a grassroots effort. We don't have a major call center, and we don't have enough money to be making long distance phone calls all around the country for hours at a time. This is where you come in. We believe we have enough supporters here in every major city to cover most of the important areas. Obviously some areas are more crucial than others, but don't fret if you're in say Kansas - there's plenty of people to be called there too. We're going to divide these calling areas up according to where you live so most of the calls you will be making are local. You don't need any special license to do this or anything, this is just one neighbor calling another.

We will get into more details in the coming days as I mentioned before. We'll even make scripts for you to follow (don't worry, we don't expect you all to be expert telemarketers). We also want to make sure that we don't double up and accidentally have some homes getting called several times - that could cause a backlash. If you are interested in participating, please send us an e-mail at with the subject like "push polling" and include your area code in the body of the message. Also, if you have any expertise in this area, feel free to volunteer any tips.

Note: if you have any ethical qualms about this at all, please just focus on another grassroots campaign tactic. You can put out signs, work on the e-mail campaign, or put bumper stickers on cars. We don't want to have you doing something you'll feel bad about later (which seems pretty preposterous, but we realize we have a mixed audience here).

We almost have this completely set up, we just need to know who will be able to volunteer. As soon as we get that information and our lawyers give us the greenlight, we're ready to roll. Expect it to start Dec 5 at the very latest.

We'll keep you updated.


trilobyte said...

Push polling will have negative effects on Iowa caucus goers. I received one of these calls and found it brash and assumed it couldn't be supported by Hillary Clinton. If I am wrong then this will not help her "trustworthy" baggage that she carries, and that Edwards is trying to capitalize on. The only way I will caucus for her is if she clarifies her policy plans and I agree with it. I think she's a formidable candidate, but honestly to win Iowa democratic caucus she needs to win the hearts and minds, and that means knowing where to draw the line. I would advise you not to push-poll in Iowa during the caucus season.

Anonymous said...

you've got to be kidding me. I recieved one of these push polls last night and found it to be extremely offensive. If it did anything it pushed me to vote for Obama.

Anonymous said...