How to rig a poll

I just got a robo-poll call from “Smart Voice” or somesuch. I figured it was going to be a push poll, but I was interested in hearing what the script was. First question was about whom I was voting for for president, and I selected correctly. Second question was about proposition 8, the California constitutional adjustment that would yank away the right for same-sex marriage and likely dissolve thousands of extant marriages. I was told to push 1 if I was voting definitely Yes, 2 for probably Yes, 3 for undecided, 4 for probably No, or 5 for definitely No. I reckoned this was likely what they were really after, and had some string of push-poll questions for the folks outside of the definite range. So wanting to hear their script, I lied and pushed 4 (I’m not only in the Hell No category on this, I’m in the already-voted-No category.) And… it went through the choices again. I hit 4 again and again, and it just kept reading the choices. As it went through the options a third time, I had an idea. I pressed 2… and, apparently having gotten the answer it wanted, it hung up on me.

So if you see some poll showing sudden vast support for Prop 8, or indicating that Obama supporters are against homosexual marriage, or any such thing in the next 48 hours,  you can bet this is where it came from.

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Published in: on November 1, 2008 at 11:06 am  Leave a Comment  

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