We all know election years bring not only volumes of mailers, but also streams of telephone calls. Some are simply robocalls asking for support, others are of course asking for donations. Polls are divided into two types. One is an actual poll which measures different things and the key to these is length. A few really are brief as promised while others seem to drag on and on. I tend to respond to polls though because I do have a family background (maternal side) of small town politics and polls can be helpful. The ones I dislike – and occasionally terminate before completing them – are the negative campaign disguised as a poll. If you haven’t experienced one of these, here’s the way it works.
It starts off in a normal way with questions about your likelihood to vote, do you approve of X,Y,Z, which issue do you consider to be most important and so forth. Then the very thinly disguised campaigning starts. Are you familiar with Candidate A? What is your opinion? Are you supporting him/her? Are you familiar with Candidate B? What is your opinion? Are you supporting him/her? If you know this about Candidate A, does that make you more or less likely to support him/her? If you know this about Candidate B, does that make you more or less likely to support him/her? By about the second question, it is obvious which candidate the “poll” is pushing and of course the “things” revealed are statements you have no way of knowing the validity of unless you’ve been following the campaign all along. If I haven’t become so annoyed at this stage that I tell them to stop, I go with the standard, “doesn’t have any impact” on my opinion no matter what the “thing” is they mention. After all, the individual calling doesn’t write the script and is probably merely trying to make a salary. This is the only reason I try to continue with them until it’s over. Unfortunately, we have another 4.5 months until election. Sigh!