I was on the receiving end of a push poll on Saturday afternoon involving Washington’s mayoral race. In case you don’t know what a push poll is, Wikipedia describes it as:

A political campaign technique in which an individual or organization attempts to influence or alter the view of respondents under the guise of conducting a poll… The push poll is a form of telemarketing-based propaganda and rumor mongering, masquerading as a poll… They are generally viewed as a form of negative campaigning.


The mayoral race in our capital city is shaping up as a two-man contest between an arrogant mayor with an interesting take on ethics and transparency (can you say paid Dubai junket?) and a  city council chair who’s real claim to fame is that he’s now “the other guy.”

But I digress. The poll asked one question: Which of the two would I vote for? I said I was waiting to see who else was running. Then I heard, “Vincent Gray for Mayor” and a hang-up. Then I got mad–and immediately called Gray’s campaign office to tell them so.

The problem with push polls is that they assume people are stupid. But we’re not, and the insult makes us mad. That’s poor marketing which will lead to bad PR. Plus, in my case, it has me questioning Gray’s judgment and his fitness to lead. How does that help his campaign?

Photo by Steve Weaver (Flickr).

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