Dear friends and supporters,
As campaign season heats up, we wanted to inform you about a deceptive and damaging tactic called “push polling,” which is, unfortunately, becoming more commonplace, even here in Hawaii. We also wanted to share some facts on how to combat those conducting “push polls.”
According to the National Council on Public Polls (NCPP), a “push poll” is:
“A telemarketing technique in which telephone calls are used to canvass vast numbers of potential voters, feeding them false and damaging ‘information’ about a candidate under the guise of taking a poll to see how this ‘information’ effects voter preferences. In fact, the intent is to ‘push’ the voters away from one candidate and toward the opposing candidate. This is clearly political telemarketing, using innuendo and, in many cases, clearly false information to influence voters; there is no intent to conduct research.
“These telemarketing techniques damage the electoral process in two ways. They injure candidates, often without revealing the source of the information. Also, the results of a ‘Push Poll,’ if released, give a seriously flawed and biased picture of the political situation.”
Push polls have been widely condemned by national political organizations, including the National Council on Public Polls, the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR), and the American Association of Political Consultants (AAPC).
Of course, legitimate organizations — such as the local news media — often conduct genuine telephone surveys on contested races. If you receive a phone call asking you to participate in a political poll, here are some tips to help you ensure the request is legitimate:
- A pollster from a credible research firm will always identify the name of his or her firm at the beginning of the call;
- The questions are worded in a clear, neutral, and non-misleading way;
- The questions are typically about more than one candidate or mention both sides of an issue; and
- The interviewer will ask respondents for basic demographic information, such as age, educational background, and party identification.
Furthermore, if you receive a phone call from someone who you believe is conducting a “push poll” designed to disseminate false and damaging information in our or any other race, please know that:
- You have the right to ask the name of the person interviewing you, the name of the research firm or organization conducting the poll, and the purpose of the survey;
- You have the right not to give an answer if you feel uncomfortable with the line of questioning; and
- You should report it to the campaign which is being disparaged.
Push polling and other related tactics have no place in Hawaii’s unique culture of aloha. We hope that you agree.
The Team at Hannemann for Congress