Push-Pull Polls and Mario S.

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I recently was victim of a telephone survey.  A very sweet woman with inflections in English that betrayed Chinese as the first language, posed question after question about the 2014 PA elections, each prefaced with the qualifier: “Would it make you more inclined or less inclined to vote if you knew ….”  This was a classic push-pull poll.  For those unfamiliar with the term, the effort was not seeking truth to report on voter preferences.   A push-pull poll is a propaganda device intended to test which phrases or issues provoke the voters.  Sociologists and Political Scientists look down on push-pull polls because they are really advertisements and negative campaigning.  They provide a candidate with a way of spending money supposedly for “research” but also as a means of influencing voters.  It is two-for-one stuff and a sign of a candidate’s desperation.

These are two of the actual questions (my memory may not have it word for word).  “Would you be more likely or less likely to vote for Mario Scavello to know that he voted to give himself a raise?” “Less likely” was my response.  The next question was: “Would you be more or less likely to vote for Mario Scavello if you knew that he donates all of his additional salary to the poor and needy?”  I thought to myself: “Is Mario Scavello the second coming of Mother Theresa?”  I won’t go in to what was said of Mark Aurand or Tom Wolf – you should more or less figure out which one was tarred as “an Obama-supporting community activist” and which one was “a failed businessman.”

The experience led me to compose my own push-pull poll questions.  This is all for fun, so any resemblance to real issues is intentionally coincidental.

1. Would it make you more or less likely to vote for Mario Scavello if you knew that he forgot to call his wife for her birthday?

2. Would it make you more or less likely to vote for Tom Corbett if you knew that when he cut off funding of Philadelphia’s public schools a girl died from an asthma attack because there was no school nurse on the premises due to Corbett’s cuts?

3. Would it make you more or less likely to vote for Rosemary Brown if you knew that she has missed not a single photo-op in four years?

4. Would it make you more or less likely to vote for Mario Scavello if you knew that he removed coupons for the Sunday papers from his former Bagel Shop and sold them for a profit in New York City?

5. Would it make you more or less likely to vote for Dave Parker if you knew that his platform has only one position: “To tell you he agrees with whatever you want to hear”?

6. Would it make you more or less likely to vote for Rosemary Brown if you knew that she is suing the Commonwealth’s “Hold Harmless” provision that protects Monroe County from a cut in school funding?

7. Would it make you more or less likely to vote for Jack Rader if you knew that he wants to raise taxes on the middle-class and rob you of most important of your federal income tax deductions?

8. Would it make you more or less likely to vote for Mario Scavello if you knew that he believes life begins at conception, in agreement with Rick Santorum who wants to make contraception illegal?

9. Would it make you more or less likely to vote for Jack Rader if you knew that he defines “bipartisan” as Republicans and Tea Party together?

10. Would it make you more or less likely to vote for Mario Scavello if you knew that he opposed the stimulus money to rebuild the 7th Street Bridge, but showed up for the photo-op to dedicate it.

 

 

A test for my conservative friends
If only we had a Surgeon General!

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