Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Cold Called on a Tom Reilly Push Poll

I got a call yesterday from Sun Surveys with what turned out to probably be a push poll for Thomas O'Reilly in the governor's race.

It took 15 to 20 minutes, and asked whether you thought MA was going in the right direction,
and what you thought of different aspects of how Tom Reilly was taking charge of the BIG DIG problem.

I spoke with the poll taker a soon to be college kid from Florida who was calling from Miami. He said he had been interested in politics until he started this job and started speaking to people. Nice kid. He said he couldn't tell who was paying for the poll. It will be interesting to see if this is published or if Reilly uses it for his own internal information.

(it could have obliquely been a gabrieli poll who was just looking on how to hammer Reilly, but with Reilly in 3rd right now that doesn't seem to make much sense. The poll hardly mentioned Patrick at all, which was odd as he is the current poll leader)


Aaron said...

Well, the poll that had Patrick in first and Reilly in third was taken before the Big Dig accident, and before Reilly's TV ads began, so I wouldn't put too much stock into it at this point.

Kari Chisholm said...

Um, push polls don't take 15-20 minutes.

Remember a real poll calls 500-600 people, while a push poll calls tens of thousands.

If it took 15-20 minutes, it would be vastly too expensive to call tens of thousands of people.

It's perfectly legit in a real poll to ask the A/B comparison questions... Things like "Candidate Smith argues that Candidate Jones is bad for the environment, citing the pollution his company did last year. Does this make you more or less likely to vote for Candidate Jones?"

Campaign polls don't just do the horserace numbers (like media polls), rather they're looking for actionable data -- testing messages to see what will drive the numbers.

sco said...

Kari is right. This isn't a push poll at all. A push poll is generally one to three questions, and is even likely to be a recorded message.

Candidates poll on message all the time.