GOP caught push polling in Vermont 2006 Senate race
David Sirota - 9.29.05
According to this letter published in Vermont's Rutland Herald, the national Republican Party has already started the shady and ethically-questionable practice of push polling in the 2006 U.S. Senate race.
Specifically, Vermonter Tony Gordon reports receiving a call from a out-of-state call center in Nebraska. The caller asked "While it is fine to have a gadfly like [Senate candidate] Bernie Sanders in the House, since Vermont is such a small state, we must have real leadership in the Senate. Do you agree or disagree?" Clearly, as Gordon notes, the question was deliberately phrased to guarantee a desired result and spread misleading information about Congressman Sanders - not to guage actual public opinion.
Webster's Dictionary defines a "push poll" as "an opinion poll done with loaded questions or offering negative information to sway the opinions of those polled." By that definition, what was described in the Rutland Herald, can safely be called a push poll - a practice widely considered to be among the most unethical in politics.
Incidentally, for those who think that Sanders is merely a gadfly and not a "real" leader, see this Rolling Stone article on his ability to pass legislation through the GOP-controlled House, or this previous post detailing his record.
UPDATE: According to Vermont political reporter Peter Freyne, this kind of shady polling has been going on for some time.
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