Monday, September 15, 2008

For Todd Taylor: a definition of a push poll

Main Entry: push poll
Part of Speech: n
Definition: an opinion poll done with loaded questions or offering negative information to sway the opinions of those polled
Usage: push-polling n

push poll. Webster's New Millennium™ Dictionary of English, Preview Edition (v 0.9.7). Lexico Publishing Group, LLC. poll (accessed: September 15, 2008).

So, let's look at the facts:

1) It was an opinion poll

2) It was a loaded question

3) It was loaded to see "who could be persuaded to vote for your candidate"

Now, I realize that there was nothing in the push poll that was dishonest. However, many people I know (with the exception of the minority that are dumb enough to fall for negative push polling) are smart enough to recognize this as a push poll, and think that we are being dishonest.

Surely, there are better ways to beat Greg Curtis.

However, this was a push poll. You can a pile of manure "fertilizer," but it's still manure.


1 comment:

Todd said...

Nice try. A lexicographer is not a political scientist -- and certainly not a practitioner. Thank you for trying to understand.

From the Salt Lake Tribune:

Quin Monson, an expert on polling and assistant director of Brigham Young University's Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy, said that people often mistake message-testing polls or voter ID polls for push polls because of the nature of the questions.

But push polls generally are anonymous, oftentimes are recorded, don't gather data, and often the information provided is false. He said that does not seem to be the case with the Democratic calls.

“Unless the information is untrue, I think they're on solid ground," Monson said.