Friday, March 21, 2014

Push-Polling Away...

So, have you received your push-polling telephone call yet?  No?  Well, a friend of mine has and was happy to share the experience with me, so I thought I'd share it with you, too.  And, before you go off the deep end, I DO know what a push-poll is.  Here's definition for you:
"The use of loaded questions in a supposedly objective telephone opinion poll during a political campaign in order to bias voters against an opposing candidate."

One evening this week my friend received a telephone call from a "marketing company" doing a little political survey and asked her to participate.  With more than a little trepidation she agreed and took copious notes as the interrogation proceeded.  I'm going to give you the best sense of how the poll was presented based on my correspondence and conversations with her.

The caller asked a list of questions, which I will transcribe below:

"Do you consider yourself a conservative, liberal or independent?"

"Are you registered to vote?"

"Do you intend to vote in November, 2014?"

"Is the current city council going in the right direction or on the wrong track?"

"Rate the following, ranging from "very unfavorably" to "very favorably"
City Council
Costa Mesa Police Chief
Tom Arnold
Harold Weitzberg
John Stephens
Lee Ramos
Katrina Foley
Sue Lester
Mayor Jim Righeimer
Costa Mesa City Workers

A short biographical summary on each of the following persons was presented.  Some highlights of the bio statements:
  • Jim Righeimer is a small business owner, concerned for taxpayers and pensions  
  • John Stephens, attorney, coach, St. Johns School  
  • Tom Gazsi, Police Chief is a Costa Mesa native and very involved in his church - that point was emphasized and some mention was made about him being a pastor 
  • Tom Arnold, former Interim Chief of the Costa Mesa Fire Department, 37 years in Costa Mesa, restructured the department saving millions
  • Harold Weitzberg, a 30 year resident, small businessman, opposes the Charter
  • Katrina Foley, former City Council member and School Board Member
  • Lee Ramos served on the Charter Committee
  • Sue Lester, operated a medical marijuana dispensary and served on the 60th anniversary party committee. 
Then the question was asked:

"Which 2 would you consider voting for"
Mayor Jim Righeimer
Lee Ramos
Katrina Foley
Tom Arnold
Tom Gazsi
Harold Weitzberg
Sue Lester
John Stephens


The final question asked something about the current city council dividing the community.  And, at the very end, my friend was asked her Ethnicity.  When she responded "white, Caucasian" she was further interrogated, following up to affirm she was "non-Latino".  She was asked if the primary language spoken in the household was Spanish.

A couple observations:
It's interesting that Tony Capitelli, the first person to announce his candidacy for Costa Mesa city council this season, was not part of the selection choices.  And, according to my friend, the questions were framed in a way that seemed to favor Righeimer.

So, listen for your telephone this weekend.  You may also be getting one of these calls.  It's going to be a very interesting campaign season...

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,


Blogger Bruce Krochman said...

It strikes me as a colossal waste of money to do anything other than baseline polling at this early stage in the campaign.

3/21/2014 03:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Sue Lester said...

HA! Interesting is right! ;)

3/21/2014 04:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

Well, I guess we can figure out where at least some of the money from the 60th went, huh?

3/21/2014 05:01:00 PM  
Blogger Gericault said...

Where's My Coffee?....nailed it. OCTaste, er' I mean OCGOP, will give some sort of in-kind donation.Those beer dollars are already flowing back into the campaign coffers.
They can't ask about Tony Capitelli, because it would raise his name recognition. That's how you know who ordered the poll.

3/21/2014 06:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Mike McNiff said...


3/21/2014 07:18:00 PM  
Blogger Bruce Krochman said...

OK, the call came in to Casa Krochman. Anyone who thinks that was a push poll is smoking something and not just because they reefer to Sue Lester as a pot dispensary operator.

Completely unrelated... I think... is that the call came in at 4:20PM on the nose.

Any push poll for Righeimer/Ramos would not have identified Foley as "Award winning".

In fact the Ramos description was quite lackluster.

I am going with my first instinct that it is a baseline poll.

3/23/2014 05:11:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Bruce, thanks - twice. I appreciate the input from another recipient. Don't have first-hand knowledge since the Casa De Potstirrer has not yet received the call. I agree with your first comment - it does, indeed, seem early in the season. One thing for sure... it's going to be an election year like none other, with all the other drama swirling around and yet another ill-advised charter to deal with. ;-)

3/23/2014 05:46:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home