Tuesday, November 3, 2009

On Push Polls

Posted By on Tue, Nov 3, 2009 at 10:22 PM

Mike McWherter
  • Mike McWherter
A local physician friend of ours reports having recently received a phone call from a pollster who began asking him about various Democratic candidates for governor. All seemed on the square until the pollster began asking a series of leading questions regarding one candidate in particular, Jackson businessman Mike McWherter.

The questions all took some such form as “Would you tend to look favorably on Mike McWherter, knowing he is…” The son of a former governor. Someone who knows business and how the banking system works. A pioneer in the field of green technology. Etc., etc., etc.

In short, the good doctor had been on the receiving end of a “push poll,” one designed more to influence answers than to solicit them. And candidate McWherter will not be the first nor the last to employ such polls in the 2010 election cycle.

McWherter may indeed be all of the fine things indicated by his pollster’s questions. But have your salt shaker ready to pour out a few grains when his or anybody else’s home-grown poll results are published.

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