My husband just got push-polled against Obama and Edwards

Earlier today someone called asking for my husband (mispronouncing his name). I offered to take a message, and she said she'd call back later.

She called back during dinner. We took the call, and once he realized what kind of poll it was, my husband put it on speakerphone so that I could listen.

After the jump I've put the questions as closely as we can remember them.

Are you a registered Democrat? Yes.

How certain are you that you will participate in the Iowa caucuses on January 3 (range of answers provided) Almost certain.

Who do you plan to support at the caucuses? John Edwards.

Are you definitely for that candidate, or might you change your mind? Definite.

The woman reads a long statement about Barack Obama's health care plan not being universal and leaving millions of people not covered. (This was when my husband put it on speakerphone.) Does this statement affect your opinion of Barack Obama a lot, a little or not at all? Not at all.

The woman reads a long statement citing foreign policy experts who say that John Edwards' plan to withdraw all combat troops from Iraq is irresponsible for various reasons. Does this statement affect your opinion of John Edwards a lot, a little or not at all? Not at all.

The woman reads a long statement about how Barack Obama has accepted a lot of contributions from interests, including energy companies, that have legislation pending before Congress. Does this statement affect your opinion of Barack Obama a lot, a little or not at all? Not at all.

Then she asked my husband's age, giving only three options: under 30, 31-60 or over 60. Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't a real poll ask about smaller age ranges than that?

She did not ask any more demographic questions about race, income, education level, whether he voted in the last election, etc.

He asked who paid for the call, but all she would say was the name of polling firm, which sounded like "Influent." She said it was in somewhere, Illinois, but she was mumbling--we couldn't make out the city. We don't have caller ID.

I read on Politico that Influent is based in Ohio but runs call centers, so I guess the call center could have been in Illinois.

Just thought you'd want to know.

  • I got that one too.

    Same age ranges and intro questions.  But the second Obama question was different - they said that he had voted present a lot as an Illinois state senator.  I'm pretty sure there was a Clinto question too, but I can't remember for sure.  

    My caller also had problems with pronounciation - he kept saying Illi-noise, but with a flat, non-east coast accent.

  • My mother got that today too...

    My mother got that this morning in Centerville. She told them she was for Edwards right off and got the first two leading questions: Obama's healthcare "hole" and Edward's "irresponsible" Iraq plan. The leading questions were fairly well backed up with some namedropping.

    Then they asked her income level, but she cut them off before I could hear the ranges they offered. Then they gave her the same age categories, she answered, they thanked her and hung up.

  • Got the call tonight

    with the same questions as Desmoinesdem's husband.  Both descriptions of Obama's supposedly questionable deeds were long and detailed.  The Edwards bit was a fairly short one.  The caller would not give me any information besides saying that the poll was for an independent firm.

    It would be interesting to know who is behind these calls.  The wording on the health care bit on Obama sounded an awful lot like the AFSCME attack piece, so I wouldn't be surprised if they are behind the calls.  But the relative lack of "bite" in the Edwards attack makes me wonder if his supporters could be behind this - idea shared apparently by many about the previous round of similar push polls.  Pulling out of Iraq is definitely not the harshest attack one can come up against Edwards.  Many actually see it as a positive thing.

    It does seem to an Obama-backer like me that the entrenched D interests are working hard against my guy.  And it's extremely disappointing to see how negative they have gone.  I'm just hoping Iowans will see through this crap and reward Obama with a victory.  It would be so much fun to see AFSCME & co. backpedal if they were endorsing Obama in the general.

    • well, AFSCME couldn't deliver the goods

      for Dean or Blouin.

      I totally reject the speculation that the Edwards campaign is behind this kind of push-poll. He has a lot less money to spend and has spent far less on any kind of polling this year than Clinton or Obama. Does anyone think his campaign is going to use resources on push-polling supporters?

      Also, while I agree that most Democrats want us to get out of Iraq, I don't think a question framed in terms of "foreign policy experts say the Edwards plan is irresponsible" is a great message for Edwards. If anything that kind of framing would push people toward the Biden position on Iraq.

      Obama has a share of the entrenched D interests, although clearly not as much as Clinton has, you are right about that.

      You have to admit, though, that Obama's coverage in the national media has been way more favorable all year than any other candidate's. This has been pretty well document.

      • To a certain degree I agree

        on the Obama coverage.  But in some ways I really question those conclusions.  Since this race has been seen by the MSM pretty much as a two-person race, I think the only people who have been thoroughly vetted by MSM are Clinton and Obama.  Of course Obama has gotten lots of positive coverage.  Who wouldn't when you draw those incredible crowds, deliver positive message and equal or even beat the Clinton machine in fundraising.  But, there have been countless articles, or portions of articles, where Obama's perceived major weakness - experience - has been discussed in much detail.  It's hard to come by an article, even a favorable one, where the issue is not mentioned.

        Considering that the race is a true three-way contest in Iowa with Edwards having a good shot at winning, I must say Johnnie has gotten pretty much a free ride, especially since the summer.  I can't recall a single piece in MSM (at least in the last few months) detailing what I see as the glaring weakness in his candidacy - the incredible mismatch between his rhetoric and his record and deeds.  If/when there is as much focus on those issues as has been on Obama's experience, I'm afraid Edwards will be ripped apart.  I'm just hoping it happens before the general election.

        Just to be clear.  I've been pretty harsh on Edwards.  But I must acknowledge that all of the leading D candidates, certainly including Obama, have significant vulnerabilities that can be, justly or unjustly, exploited in the general.  Because of that, I am extremely worried about the mentality among surprisingly many D's that the general election will be a cakewalk for us.

  • I just got the call

    Maybe this is because I'm living at home for the first time in over a year, but I just got my first "Iowa caucus survey" call at home and it was the one talked about above (just for the record I've had two previous calls that simply asked who I was supporting on my cell phone in November).

    The person who called me was a young man, seemed to have an a pretty flat accent, maybe from the urban areas of the southeast.  They asked the same questions about income and they did ask about age as well, which is different then dmd's post.

    I asked who paid for the call and what the name of the firm was, but he said all he could tell me was that it was independent research firm.

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