Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Silly Pollsters
So, as I said in my previous post, I'm spending about a week at home. This evening, a little before dinner time, the phone rings: "May I please speak to Mr. ______ _______?" (I hope you didn't think I was going to reveal my name...) I said that he was looking for me, and the guy asked if I'd be willing to answer one political poll question, on behalf of the Connecticut Republican Party. I said sure (I'm a sucker for answering political polls) and he explained that he was going to play a short message concerning Howard Dean's new state-level initiative, recorded by the chairman of the CT State Party.

So, I listen to the message. It's basically a lot of whining about how Howard Dean is known for his ability to agitate the Democratic Party, and that by targetting the state level Republicans he hopes to decapitate our future national leadership. He's a skilled fundraiser, and an inspirational leader, of whom we should be afraid. So the first guy comes back on the line and asks something along the lines of "Howard Dean has shown his ability to campaign successfully, do you think that the Republican Party needs to respond to this new threat?"

Now, this whole thing was clearly framed to lead to an affirmative response. Perhaps it's not surprising, then, that I said no.

You see, I know more about the situation than they want me to know. They are looking for politically ignorant people who are going to hear this alarmist message and say "God yes, we have to come at them with everything they've got." They are push-polling. They are putting this question in the field so that they can say "87% of Connecticut Republicans think their Party needs to fight back against Howard Dean's state-level initiative." If you study political opinion, however, or even look at the world with some level of rationality, you see that this isn't what someone is saying with a yes response. What they're actually saying is "from the sparse, biased information I've been provided, I have been led to believe that the Republican Party has no choice but to fight back against Howard Dean's state-level initiative." These are two very different responses.

For my money, Howard Dean seems to be an amazing failure. He blew apart in the presidential primary. He has raised a mere fraction of the money earned by the Republicans in the same amount of time—despite his famed fundraising skills. He's allocating funds to states that don't have a national campaign for another two years.

See, I don't think he's a threat. I think this campaign will be another spectacular failure, and the Republicans will come out smelling like roses, without wasting money trying to fight the ghost of a real threat. The Republican Party of Connecticut, on the other hand, is apparently being managed by a bunch of idiots who create self-fulfilling prophesies, and then pat themselves on the back for being "right."

Maybe they should pay me to consult. (Hah, I wish.)


Richard said...

You are correct when you say that you know more than they want you to know.

That was a "push poll." Your response is totally irrelevant. It is designed to raise your ire at Howard Dean and the Democrats. Expect it to be followed by requests for money or other actions.

It does tell you that the election cycle is already started and being heavily worked by at least the Republicans.

Richard said...

Another point.

Howard Dean seems to be an amazing failure. He blew apart in the presidential primary.

You are surprised? That is what normally happens to a candidate without prior experience in national politics, and is why I opposed him as the Democratic Candidate.

Someone with little or no experience on the national political scene is able to try a lot of new things, but is also very likely to make very serious errors in the campaign. Dean did both.

That is more serious for Democrats because they don't have the permanent party infra-structure on the national level that assists candidates in avoiding those errors. The Republicans have had that form of organization for years.

Dean, from his experience, current position and extreme level of intelligence, is very likely to make the Democrats more competitive nationally.

I expect to see him around telling the Truth about Republicans more and more effectively for a long time, and I expect the Republicans to complain bitterly that he is giving them Hell. [Joke stolen from Truman as any ggod Democrat already knows. {grin}]