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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Pushing voters in the Senate race with 'polling'

Posted By on Wed, Jul 9, 2014 at 6:43 AM

Polling is incessant during the campaign season, particularly since the advent of automated polling. Some is legitimate opinion sounding. Some is aimed at determining what issues move voters, but it also serves a dual purpose of thinly disguised campaigning.

For example: Last night, a friend got a call from an outfit nominally interested in the U.S. Senate races. But after initial questions, the questioning moved into the did-you-know category. They were designed to illustrate differences between Republican Tom Cotton and U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor on environmental regulations and burning of coal. They were designed to get a voter leaning toward Pryor to move toward Cotton. 

Also last night, a pollster called a self-described independent voter. Again some value-free horse race questions. And then the did-you-know. Did the voter know Tom Cotton voted against disaster funding? Against student loans? Against an appropriation for Arkansas Children's Hospital? Did these positions make the voter more or less likely to vote for Cotton? The list of Cotton votes was long, so long that the person taking the poll finally begged off.


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