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Political notes from Free Press staff writers Terri Hallenbeck, Sam Hemingway and Nancy Remsen


7.17.2008

 

Push poll buzz

It's only July, for heaven's sake, but already there's talk about a push poll. The candidates aren't even official yet. (That occurs Monday for major party candidates)

A couple of people have posted to blogs that they received telephone calls last weekend that they judged to be promoting one gubernatorial candidate over another. Assistant House Democratic Leader Floyd Nease of Johnson also asserted in a published column that a push poll had taken place. These various account report that push was against House Speaker Gaye Symington, the Democratic gubernatorial candidate, and toward Republican Gov. Jim Douglas, who is running for re-election.

"The governor has never and will never push poll," said Dennise Casey, Douglas' campaign manager. "He doesn't believe that this tactic has a place in Vermont politics."

Eric Davis, who recently retired from the political science department at Middlebury College, has followed the buzz. "I would say there probably was some calling going on. I don't think these bloggers made it up."

Was it a push poll? Who paid for it? Both unknowns, Davis said.

What is a push poll? Davis defined it as a coordinated sometime automated calling effort designed to spread less than complete or biased information about a candidate. It is used to spread information rather than do public opinion research.

Push polls are sometimes conducted by unaffiliated partisan groups without the knowledge of a candidate, but could be perceived as advancing the cause of the candidate.

Will we ever know what really took place last weekend?

-- Nancy Remsen

Comments:
This Casey woman needs to pull her head out of her a@% and quit acting innocent. We all know it happened. Typical damage control from the Karl Rove kids.
 
Sure, it was a push poll. How else are the doogie/dubie debacle gonna keep their jobs besides engaging in rovesputin tactics?

It's not like they can run on their records for Christ sake.
 
"Will we ever know what happened..."
Not if you don't investigate--duh.
Are you INTERESTED in knowing what happened? Then FIND OUT--you're supposed to be the reporter here. If it's just on the blogs, you're saying it's not reliable--so INVESTIGATE already. Jeezum.
 
I don't trust what Floyd "Bad Boy" Nease or John Odum have to say. If this is true let's hear from people who actually received the calls. If Floyd or John tells you enough times that the sky is green pretty soon we'll all believe it. Nease is prone to sretching the truth to suit him. The real question is what dog does Flyod boy have in this fight? Can you say Mr Speaker?
 
Did anyone notice that Douglas didn't say he wanted it stopped -- only that he does not (wink, wink) believe in push polls?

Yeah right, and I have a bridge in Moretown, or Richmond, or just about anywhere in VT that you can buy?
 
I wish our media would get real and not be afraid of Jason Gibbs or Dennise Casey?


This is a story that should be on the front page - not buried on a blog!

C'mon Nancy and Terri?
 
If it's true it should be news on the front page...but once again this is a "story" being pushed polled by Odum and Nease...where are the folks that actually rec'd a call? Nease and Odum and all the boys and girls at GMD push their polls toward the far, far left of their point of view...certainly not mine. Get the whip out Floyd boy..Can you say Mr. Speaker?
 
A number of people including Haik have spoken in detail about the push-poll-phonecalls they got.

Do a little research of your own.
 
Okay, so Eric Davis has retired. Leave him alone and find someone else to interview for god's sake. Why was his opinion needed in this instance anyway?
 
Good that Eric Davis has retired. Who the .... is he to tell us what to think. He is just as guilty as other blow hards in horse racing politics.

When you have a whole class who "know better" you have created a system that is disconnected from reality, and that is what the system we have as Eric Davis prescribes too.
 
Douglas NEVER gets his hands dirty... It's always someone else.

He will even say he disagrees with the action, but not really do anything about it.

Are you going to tell us that as Governor and perceived leader of the VT GOP, he has no power to tell them what to do.

Where's the leadership Governor?
 
I'll fall on the sword for my dear sweet James. It twas me who personally called Vermonters and tried to convince them that Gaye Symington is the anti-christ when it comes matters of community safety and offenders. I know no other way then to employ smoke and mirrors to deflect the truth away from my bespectled master. In exchange for my blind loyalty, I may receive a bonus far greater then the paltry $1,000 recently bestowed upon me. I may have even made further inroads into the all boys network that sits high above all in the Pavilion Building.
 
If this is true let's hear from people who actually received the calls.

You should actually check the reports and reada little before gllefully putting your foot in your mouth. Here ya go... from the people who "actually received the calls":

http://www.burlingtonpol.com/2008/07/douglas-campaign-push-polling.html
http://www.ibrattleboro.com/article.php/20080715064135222
http://greenmountaindaily.com/showComment.do?commentId=14187

Better, Mr. Anonymous? Of course not... now you'll come up with some other convoluted excuse to dismiss the reality staring you in the face. Or just avoid the topic entirely and throw out another insult. Pathetic.
 
"The governor has never and will never push poll,"

In other words, its the State Republican Party doing it on his behalf. Sorta like the Clavelle "Sandidista" attack. So if (ha!) it actually gets covered, he can say oh that's just awful - I've told them to stop."
 
"Better, Mr. Anonymous? Of course not... now you'll come up with some other convoluted excuse to dismiss the reality staring you in the face. Or just avoid the topic entirely and throw out another insult. Pathetic."

Sorry Mr. Odum. I have learned the art of the blog from JWCOOP10. I mistakenly thought insults qualified as intellectual discourse in these circles.
 
Nancy -- Are you going to ask Rob Roeper if the VTGOP paid for this push poll?
 
Nancy is currently covering a pie bake-off in the Northeast Kingdom. The BFP editors thought it more newsworthy.
 
No, I'm not insulting Nancy.

I'm simply asking if she's going to follow up on the story. She wanted to know who organized the push-poll. She obviously thinks it's newsworthy.

Calling Roeper would be a solid way to follow up without doing 2 days worth of investigation.
 
She thinks she's done her job and established some sort of credibility by posting the story here. But if a story falls on a blog and the wider Free Press readership never sees it, does it make any noise?
 
Douglas should do us all a favor and just resign!
 
Anonymous....

"Better, Mr. Anonymous? Of course not... now you'll come up with some other convoluted excuse to dismiss the reality staring you in the face. Or just avoid the topic entirely and throw out another insult. Pathetic."

"Sorry Mr. Odum. I have learned the art of the blog from JWCOOP10. I mistakenly thought insults qualified as intellectual discourse in these circles."

Well, little factually-challenged/fundamentally-dishonest/nameless-nitwit fella, given the fact that your ignorant anonymous ass had long since established yourself as ignorant anonymous trash with bupkis on any topic well before I got here and ya haven't been able to substantiate a damned thing you've said in the 8 months I've been here, clearly, it's no mistake that your mistaken, little factually-challenged/nameless-nitwit fella.

Always a pleasure.
Dismissed.
 
Could you investigate this? I'd really appreciate it. Just don't ask Sam to do it.

I think Eric Davis is a decent guy offering reasonable opinions.

Thanks
 
Last night I was playing in my crib with my Fischer-Price phone, and I may have accidently called some people and said some naughty things about that big tall woman.
 
These comments suck. I think the Free Press should pull the plug on this comments section, and just have the blog. Either that, or require users to register and use their real names. As it is, the behavior and language here is worse than in a kindergarten full of delinquents.
 
Strange coincidence that the alleged push-pollers only called well-known liberals with blogs.
 
"These comments suck."
"The Free Press should pull the plug on this comments section."

If you don't like reading the comments, then don't read them. Just read the blog posts. It's really that easy. You probably griped about Howard Stern too, when all you had to do was turn the dial to another station.

Spare us your feelings!
 
Mr Sensitive...

Ever complain about Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter or Sean Hannity?
 
Anonymous said...

"Strange coincidence that the alleged push-pollers only called well-known liberals with blogs."

And how would your ignorant anonymous ass know that, little fella?

That's what I thought.

Always a pleasure.
Dismissed.
 
I think Lunderville was asked about this on Mark Johnson the other day and said when he was running the Douglas campaigns they never push-polled. But I believe he did draw a distinction between a "push poll" and "message testing."

It sounded like a question of numbers: If you test a message on 200 voters you're not really trying to change opinions in any meaningful way, but if you make 10,000 calls you are obviously trying to sway a significant number of voters.

What's the limit at which it becomes a story? I don't know. I'm sure your opinion on that is probably a function of which candidate you're backing.
 
IndependentVter..

"I think Lunderville was asked about this on Mark Johnson the other day and said when he was running the Douglas campaigns they never push-polled. But I believe he did draw a distinction between a "push poll" and "message testing."

Well, Indy, if boy blunderville's comments to Mark Johnson on the radio are good enough for you, that's a pretty good indication of which candidate you're backing.

You can buy into his hair-splitting rationalizations as to what constitutes the difference between "push polling" and "message testing" and where one crosses the line into becoming the other all you want, but I'd put more stock in an envelope with Ed McMahon telling me I may already be a millionaire on it than blunderville.

If doogie loses, like Rob Hofmann, boy blunderville will be out of a job he's not qualified for and Vermont will be the better for it.

Clearly, given the facts, doogie can't run on his record. Like gop-scum everywhere, he's gonna have t to swift-boat his ass off if he's gonna keep his job.

It was a push poll. I don't give a damn if it was the doogie campaign or an "independent expenditure" by some gop-scum front group looking to swift-boat Symington and get the jimi douglas experience another encore, it was gop-scum politics at its finest.

On a lighter note, Mr Mental Recession is out of a job. Crackers Graham has just left the McCain Campaign. I'll let nekkie boy fill ya in on how Shumlin and VPIRG forced him out.
 
Remember when Symington said there could be lots of other things she could be doing? I think it is time!
 
It is time ... for her to be Governor!!!
 
Go Douglas!
 
Go Symington!
 
We can do better... than Pollina!
 
Douglas is the man!
 
Douglas is a joke!
 
Douglas is a charlatan who co-opts others ideas as his own. Send him and Dorothy packing.
 
Jim Douglas should resign - to try and use the Brooke Bennet kidnap and murder is despicable - despite what the push poll might tell him.
 
Yeah, Jim Douglas and Brian Dubie are just wrong to make this a political issue.

This happens every election year - find an emotional "hot" button and push it!

Partisan politics at its worst!

Typical GOP fear mongering!
 
Go Douglas!
 
Anonymous said...

Partisan politics at its worst!

Typical GOP fear mongering!"

It's not like they can run on their record.

Gop scum have nothing to run on or offer but fear itself. Then never do. They never will.
 
Said like a true demagogue
 
Anonymous said...

"Said like a true demagogue"

Spoken like ignornant anonymous trash with bupkis.

Always a pleasure.
Dismissed.
 
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The first rule of speaking like a demagogue....insult and belittle those who disagree with you.
 
Anonymous said...

"The first rule of speaking like a demagogue....insult and belittle those who disagree with you."

Evidently, the first rule of fascist fight club is not to talk about fascist fight club and the inescapable fact that your ignorant anonymous ass has no case, no clue and no evidence to substantiate your specious slop.

Thanks for clearin' that up, herr goebbels. Clearly, it's not for nothin' that you're the preeminent authority on the topic.

What's more, you're not just the president of fascist fight club, you're a client, too.

In other words, you want me to pretend that your ignorant anonymous ass is a worthy advocate for a legitimate point of view rooted in fact and supported by evidence that reasonable people can disagree about when none of those things are true.

That's just not gonna happen, little factually-challenged/fundamentally-dishonest fella. I don't brake for brain-dead bigots with bupkis and I ain't gonna start with the likes of your ignorant anonymous ass.

You have no case, little fella. Not now. Not ever. You haven't been able to substantiate a damned thing you've said since your ignorant anonymous ass got here and I'm not gonna pretend otherwise, deduce bag.

You're dumb, you're scum and ya got bupkis. There is nothing legitimate about you or your brain-dead, bigoted-trash belief system. There never was. There never will be. Get a case and a clue or get lost.

Always a pleasure.
Dismissed.
 
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