Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A Political Poll

This post is about a political poll, but it is not about politics.  Rather it is about one of those phone calls that seem to come every few minutes this time of year.

I get many calls, all dealing with Republican candidates and issues, I guess because my name is on Republican lists.  I'm not really an activist but I did attend some town Republican meetings and as a result, I found myself on many Republican lists.  That's O.K. as it helps keep me informed, at least on the side of issues that interest me.

With just three weeks remaining before the June Primaries, the polling calls seem to be increasing.  The problem with most of those calls is that they are done by a computer and there is really no, or sometimes extremely little, human contact.

Sometimes I'm nice and push the buttons requested for a response, sometimes I'm not and just hang up.  I was, Wife Gator tells me, rather rude to one human caller who wanted me to support his candidate.  It was a candidate I could not possibly support in the Primary and before he finished his first sentence, I think I may have given him a hint of my feelings.  He hung up on me.  I tried to explain to Gator Wife that he was the rude one.

Then there was the poll where I was asked if I could name any gubernatorial candidate.  I listed all seven Republican candidates and four Democrat candidates in alphabetical order and then included the Independent.  No challenge there.

The one that got to me was just a couple days ago and I'm still thinking about it.  There is an out-of-state survey company that has to be determining extremely bad information for whoever is paying for the poll.  The computer told me I would be given a list of candidates and then using my phone's keypad and a scale of 1 to 6 (strongly support to never heard of him) rate each candidate. 

It was a computer survey but I figured that I did have feelings about all seven Republican candidates, so why not?  The computer apparently was randomly picking the names.  I remember not which was the first, perhaps Abbott.  I entered my response.  Then came LePage, then Otten, then Mills, and finally Poliquin.

Yes, finally.  "Now let's rate the various issues," or words to that effect, said the computer.

I screamed at the phone and thus the computer.  "Wait, wait," I yelled.  "You left two out.  What about Beardsley and Jacobson?  What kind of a stinking poll is this?"

The computer droned on.  "I'll give you a series of issues.  After each, please listen to the choices before pressing the number button on your telephone.  First. . ."

I hung up.

We're going to see some poll results shortly that will have one of the five rated first.  I'll know that day who authorized this fake poll and will vote for someone else, even if the sponsor is my current top choice.


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