Republican message testing in Johnson County

(Calls in Polk County as well to well-established Democrats.  Who else has been getting these calls? - promoted by Chris Woods)

At 4:00PM on Saturday, I got a call from a “polling firm”. It began innocously emough by asking which Dem I planned to caucus for, and I said Dodd, but then the real purpose became clear. They asked me if any of the following information would change my opinion about these three “Democrat” candidates:

Clinton – she's a flip-flopper, who used to opposed ethanol, but now she supports it.

Obama – voted present seven times on reproductive rights bills in the Illinois State Senate.

Edwards – he's a liberal trial lawyer who wants to bring troops home from Iraq.

I replied that no, their opinions didn't bother me at all. So, has anyone else gotten these calls? I live in Johnson county, and I wonder if they're going statewide.

About the Author(s)


  • I haven't gotten the call

    but if they didn’t ask you for basic demographic information, then it’s a push-poll, not real message testing.

    Thanks for putting up this diary.

    • Sunday afternoon: my husband just got the call

      They asked for him by name, and they started in on the negative question about Hillary after he said he is supporting Edwards. They didn’t ask for demographic info.

      They refused to say the name of the polling firm. He cut them off before they got through the whole list of questions, but it sounds like the same call you got.

    • No demographics for me either

      When I got the call, they just asked who I was supporting, then launched into the negatives.

  • Got 2 of those calls

    Now both I and Mrs. RF have spoken to these people.  She talked to them earlier this week, and I did last night.  With me, they were using the same exact issues on Clinton, Obama and Edwards as Corncam mentions here – after I said I was going to caucus for Obama.  

    After some grilling, my caller said she was calling from a company called Timberline.  She said it was an “independent poll.”  There is another blog post about these calls at with more information about the company.

    I don’t think there is any way these calls can be from one of the second tier D’s.  Definitely someone message testing for R’s and/or laying the groundwork for general election against the likeliest winners on our side.  It’s going to get very nasty, no matter who gets our nomination.

    • seems like a waste of their money

      if it is the Rs. Mr. desmoinesdem and I are 100 percent certain to support the Democratic nominee, whoever it is. Push-poll questions about flip-flopping or whatnot would make no difference. I imagine it’s the same for you and Mrs. RF.

      • agreed

        Complete waste of money to do this at this point time.  We were wondering how we got on their list.  You can’t really get much more blue than our home, despite the fact that I like to converse with R’s and I even give them some credit when they deserve it.

    • forgot to mention

      that obviously it wouldn’t be any of the second-tier Ds. That kind of poll would be a waste of time and wouldn’t do anything to build support for them.

  • Yes, statewide

    My wife got this call a couple weeks ago when desmoinesdem first reported on it here.  I got it today.  I don’t think it’s message testing–not very critical of Edwards, but harder on Hillary and Obama.  So I think Edwards is behind it.  I bet push polls don’t count against the spending limits, so he has that incentive.  

    In the earlier round of discussion on this push poll, someone observed that it would have to go to thousands of households to be an effective push poll.  Well, they are still at it so they must have reached thousands of folks by now.  They even called here in the middle of the afternoon, not just in prime evening time.