Push Polling in Maine, and no doubt Elsewhere. Beware.

categories: Cocktail Hour / Don't Talk About Politics



Oh, I’ve just been subject to a political scam on the phone—the legendary push poll, this one a pleasant lady telling me that she works for a national firm called Davis Industries.  I asked her directly who they were working for and she said directly: no one, neither democrat nor republican.  I knew it wasn’t true but said okay.  The first ten minutes are fun and innocuous and make you feel you’re taking part in a real poll: which candidate is more favorable, who will you vote for, etc.  But then the bullshit starts:  “I’m going to read you some facts about each candidate and ask if these facts make you more or less likely to vote for the candidate.”  And it’s like, “Did you know [both candidates you’ve expressed interest in] are for health care in Maine that will cut x billions out of Medicare coverage?”  No, I didn’t know it because it’s not true.  And then more nonsense, none of it true.  I said I couldn’t answer because the statement wasn’t true.  So she plugged on, and finally I said, Okay, I know this is a push poll now, and I know you’ve lied to me to get me to answer this many questions, and so I’m hanging up.”  Bang.  I don’t know why it makes me so mad.  Something about the psychological space their script gives them access to, and knowing that they succeed, often enough.  The method is to put disinformation into the pollee’s head as if the disinformation were the pollee’s own thought.  “If you knew [your candidate] has cooked and eaten babies his whole life, would that change your opinion of him?”

They also want to know if anything has changed my mind about candidates lately.

And my mind goes to these constant mailings from the Rich and/or Stupid party.  We have a three-way senate race going on in Maine, one that pits a total douche-bag of a tea-party loser and anti-intellectual, Charlie Somers, against former governor Angus King, a moderate, and Cynthia Dill, a truly great progressive.  King is way ahead in the polls and will likely win—the douche-bag’s only hope is that Ms. Dill divides the vote in the manner that the lame democratic candidate in our 2010 gubernatorial race did, canting the result away from the independent candidate, in that case one Eliot Cutler, a good-enough guy, and leaving us with Paul LePage on 38% of the vote, a tea-party, Rich/Stupid party douche-bag of epic proportions.

Back to the push poll, which as I said, made me remember all the mailings I’ve been getting from the Maine Republican Party.  Why would they target me?  About why tell me how awful underdog Cynthia Dill is for supporting Obama, for being against the Trans-Canada pipeline–in other words, having positions exactly like mine?  Here’s why: knowing I’ll never vote for a douche-bag like Charlie Somers, they want to excite me into voting for the wonderful Ms. Dill.  Whom I’d dearly like to support.  She’d like me to, too, but sadly, I can’t vote for her without risking another 38 percenter from Maine.

I hope the national Rich/Stupids spend millions of their douche-bag dollars trying to cheat their way into the senate via Maine and get nothing but an empty bottle of Massengill for their efforts, just as they did when they tried to make it harder to vote here–the people’s veto went more than 60-40 against them.  Them?  Make it clear: the National Republican Party.  Who used to have a wonderful senator from Maine in their camp–Olympia Snowe, who has left the Senate in frustration, leaving a very hot seat to fight over, musical chairs.

  1. monica wood writes:

    Bill, I just got back from a week with no internet, and this is so depressing. On the other hand, I just watched the book trailer for LIFE AMONG GIANTS and it put me in such a good mood again. Your inner sunshine is so…so inescapable.

    • Bill writes:

      Thanks, Monica. And thanks for kind words… It’s depressing in the countryside. Sign in a neighbor’s yard: “Obama Kills Seniors.” I didn’t have to ask my bumper sticker question: Voting Republican? Are you rich or stupid?

      • Bill writes:

        Some will answer rich, but keep in mind we’re talking about Adjusted Gross Income on yr 1040 of above (generously speaking), get this: $250,000 or $300,000 a year.