There have been some reports that the Ahner campaign (he likes to emphasize the “Ah”) has been putting out a push poll. The Mystery Pollster defines a push poll as follows:
We can usually identify a true push poll by a few characteristics that serve as evidence of that intent. “Push pollsters” (and MP hates that term) aim to reach as many voters as possible, so they typically make tens or even hundreds of thousands of calls. Real surveys usually attempt to interview only a few hundred or perhaps a few thousand respondents (though not always). Push polls typically ask just a question or two, while real surveys are almost always much longer and typically conclude with demographic questions about the respondent (such as age, race, education, income).
Here is the script that one person remembered from the call. Note the absence of demographic questions (race, education, income, whatever):
Do you know how you are going to vote in this November’s congressional election between Democrat Dennis Moore and Republican Chuck Ahner?
Let me read you two statements in order to make sure you are voting for the right person. Dennis Moore takes large amounts of money from lobbyists and has hurt the war on terror. Chuck Ahner is a family man who is fed up with politics in Washington. He wants reform and his military experience will keep our families safe from terrorism. Having heard these two statements, will you vote for Chuck Ahner or Dennis Moore on November 7th?
Are you pro-life?
Do you support the war in Iraq?
Do you think that politics in Washington D.C. needs reform?
This is a dirty ploy. Ahner is lagging in fundraising, probably can’t afford to go on the air in the Topeka and Kansas City TV markets, so he’s resorting to a deeply dishonest tactic, playing off of people’s sense of civic duty by pretending to do a poll just so he can push his negative message.
Anyone who got a call like this should make a recording of it if possible, and let me or Moore’s people know about it.
You can also fight this sort of hackery by dropping a couple dollars on the Moore campaign.