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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Geoff Garin, Hillary's 'Chief Strategist" Conducts A Push Poll Asking If Hillary Can Win

Ben Smith Post with above audio:

David LaMotte, the Obama backer who got, and didn't like, a Clinton polling call, has generously emailed over the audio of the call, which you can listen to above.

Along with the amusement factor of the paid pollster and the well-informed Obama supporter doing their best to be polite to one another, these calls are interesting because they offer a glimpse at the lines of attack Clinton is considering.

Here, on top of the trade issue, the poll tests familiar attacks based on Obama's Foreign Relations Subcommitt

ee's not holding hearings on Al Qaeda; on healthcare; and on credit card votes.

The most interesting question to me, though, was based on gauging another issue: Whether voters still think Clinton can win.

The question asked the respondent for his view on "the chance that Hillary Clinton can still will the Democratic nomination."

Daily Kos posted this:

A couple of segments, on energy policy.
"Hillary Clinton knows that people are being squeezed by the rising costs of everyday items, especially the cost of a gallon of gas. People have been paying through the roof and at the pump, and she thinks it is time the oil companies paid their fair share. She wants to end their special tax breaks and use that money to invest in alternative energy that will create millions of new jobs. As president she will launch a full-scale investigation of the oil companies' price rigging. Upon taking office as president she will lower gas prices by taxing the excess profits of the oil companies and use that money to cut gas tax.

Do you consider that a very strong, strong or weak or very weak reason to support her candidacy for president?"


I'm going to read you a few criticisms opponents might make about Barack Obama. For each one please tell me if they give you very major doubts, fairly major doubts, some doubts or no real doubts about supporting Barack Obama for president. At a time when we need leaders who are clear, strong and decisive, Obama has been inconsistent, saying he would remove all troops, but then indicating that he might not, and pledging to renegotiate NAFTA, but then sending signals that he would not actually do so as president. He supported George W. Bush's 2005 energy bill which payed $6 billion in subsidies to the oil and gas industry, $9 billion in subsidies to the coal industry and $12 billion in subsidies to the nuclear power industry. It was called 'a piƱata of perks' and 'the best energy bill corporations could buy. Would that leave you with major doubts, some doubts or no real doubts?

As longtime readers are no doubt tired of hearing, there's a difference between message-testing and push-polls, and this strikes me as being pretty clearly the former — the pollster is trying to figure out people's reaction to information and is interested in the answers. It's too long, too complicated, and probably too far from election day to be a push-poll. It's the kind of research most campaigns do — though that doesn't mean it doesnt alienate some of the people it's reaching.

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