Sunday, January 13, 2008

Pro-Huckabee Folks Push-Poll Me In Nevada

So I'm minding my own business trying to finish up a major USA Today piece on something unrelated to the election and the home phone rings. And it never rings on Sunday evenings unless my partner needs me and I'm ignoring my cell, but in this news environment my cell is glued to my hip.

It was an automated voice asking me if I was voting in the Jan. 19th GOP caucus in Nevada. Of course, I'm not voting in any Nevada caucuses; I'm covering them. But I wanted to hear what came next, so I said yes.

The voice then asked which of the four candidates, Huckabee, McCain, Romney or Guiliani, I supported. For the hell of it, I said Guiliani.

Then came a series of stilted questions. I'm going on memory here, but I believe the first one asked if, knowing that Guiliani is pro-homosexual marriage and that Huckabee recently renewed his vows on Valentine's Day (I think), do I still support Guiliani? Then the voice noted Guiliani's support of "sanctuary cities" and immigration reform and so, knowing this, now don't I support Huckabee? Next
I'm asked if I supported some "gun ban" and asked if, knowing that Huckabee is a lifelong hunter who opposes a gun-control law that Clinton signed and Guiliani supported, don't I support Huckabee now?

After it got done shilling for the Huckster, the voice asked if I had a favorable view of Harry Reid. After I answered, the voice says something to the effect of what I think of the fact that Reid wants to surrender in Iraq and hand over our freedoms to Islamo-fascists. That's almost a quote.

The voice concluded by asking if I were male (yup) and if I were over 50 (nope). Then the voice stated it was from a group called Common Sense Issues and was not affiliated with any campaign. Coulda fooled me!

Turns out, this same group did the same thing on Huckabee's behalf in New Hampshire (see Huffington Post piece here) and Iowa (see the Washington Post's John Solomon's blog post here.)

What's odd about this is that (a) until this there has been absolutely no campaigning of any sort by Republicans since Iowa and New Hampshire in Nevada and no appearances by any of the GOP candidates in at least a month, and (b) Huckabee has been openly hostile to gaming in a way that makes it hard to imagine he cares about or thinks he has much of a chance in this state.

And we thought the Obama-Clinton thing was our only thrill this week. Looks like someone thinks Nevada's GOP caucus is worth slinging some mud over, too.


Amy said...

Out of curiosity, did you have caller ID on this line? Did it say "Virginia"? If so, I might have ignored such a call this evening.

I hate, hate, hate political calls. I'm tempted to tally the caller IDs and give my vote to the person who personally pestered me the least.


Nope. I don't have caller ID on my landline. Half the time I don't even know why I have a landline.

Z said...

I just received the same call. The number was 703-961-1077. I'm a democrat so, obviously, I'm not attending the GOP caucus. I said this and that I was a democrat. It told me about McCain and Romney's personal wealthy and how it compares to Huckabee and asked if this made me trust Huckabee more.

Then it asked, "Do you have a favorable opinion of Harry Reid?" I said I did. It said, "Do you support Harry Reid's call to pull troops out of Iraq and turn the country over to Islamic terrorists?" At that point I hung up. Although, I suppose I should have stuck with to see how absurd it got.

Amy said...

Just checked the phone number -- that's the one I ignored! Is Mike Huckabee specifically targeting fans of The Strip?

Rachel said...

Holy cow! I got one, too! is this some sort of epidemic?

Z said...

I think I will call the secretary of state's office tomorrow and find out how to report this. Push-polling is a felony.

Tom M. said...

I live in PA, our Primary is Apr 22nd, so I don't have to worry about any of this until the general elections since the primary elections will have been decided way before our primary. Welcome to the political season.

Shaun said...

These calls are an epidemic and are invading the privacy of All American Voters.

Our members are taking a stand and saying enough is enough at the National Political Do Not Contact Registry at

Here is a quote from a member this morning:

"I find it very frustrating... I tend to get calls at the WORST time. I have a one year old daughter, and it NEVER fails that the phone will ring when I put her down for a nap or for bed. Also my vote is PRIVATE... so who do you think you are calling with a survey to find out who I am voting for!!! Stop calling me."


Shaun Dakin
CEO and Founder

Z said...

Not allowing campaigns to call people at all is a terrible idea. How else are voters suppose to find out where candidates stand on the issues? From the news? I don't know if you have watched the news lately, but there is a complete lack of substance and objectivity on ALL the news networks. The only other options are canvassing and mailings. Canvassing requires a lot of manpower that all candidates may not have and mailings are very expensive. A volunteer can easily call 100 people in an hour. It is the most cost effective and efficient way to campaign.

There is a huge difference between calling someone and saying, "I'm a volunteer with X campaign and just want to know if we have your support?" and calling under the guise of a legitimate "survey" and saying "So-and-so eats babies and kicks puppies. Does this make you distrust So-and-so?"

If candidates aren't allowed to make phone calls then you are basically turning out electoral process over to the media and the wealthy.