First he asked me a couple of standard questions: Party registration? (Democrat)
How likely are you to vote? (very likely)
He then asked me whether I thought Massachusetts was right or wrong direction. I said yes, with some hesitation. I have trouble with such short answers.
He then asked me whether I had a favorable or unfavorable impression of the following people:
Deval Patrick (favorable)
Jamie Eldridge (favorable)
Kurt Hayes (unfavorable)
Jennifer Benson (unfamiliar)
He proceeded to ask me whether I supported casinos (no) and the health care reform act (yes, with hesitation again).
He then asked me who I would vote for if the election for State Rep were held today: Democrat Jennifer Benson or Republican Kurt Hayes. By this point, I was losing interest, and I didn’t know anything about Benson, so I said I wouldn’t vote on the race (in fact, I’m moving out of the district before election day, so I won’t). He put me down as “undecided.”
The next question was who I would vote for in the presidential election (Obama).
He then read several statements about the State Rep candidates, and asked me whether “knowing” these things (and I use quotation marks because many of them were as much opinion as fact) made me more or less likely to vote for the candidate. Unfortunately, I don’t remember all of the statements, but they left me with the general impression that they were affiliated with the Hayes campaign. A number of the anti-Benson statements sounded like Republican talking points (she’s in “lock-step” with the Democratic leadership, she supports gay marriage and opposes the right of the people to vote on it, she supports government-funded universal healthcare, she refuses to take a vow not to raise taxes). By comparison, the negative statements about Hayes tended to be less over-the-top, and detached from the issues (he doesn’t have enough experience and hasn’t held elected office, he’d be powerless as a first-term Republican in a body dominated by Democrats). I didn’t count, but I think there were fewer anti-Hayes/pro-Benson statements, too.
He then asked me if, with the statements in mind, I knew who I’d vote for in November. I told him I’d vote for Benson. He asked if this was definite, and I said yes. He then asked me to rank some issues in order of importance to me. He also asked for my age and name (in case his supervisor wanted to verify that he talked to me), and then he was done.
I’m curious to know whether the poll was sponsored by either campaign. He claimed to be calling for an independent firm, but the questions left me thinking they were polling for Hayes. DAPA’s website makes no secret of the fact that they poll for candidates. Still, if they were calling on a poll that wasn’t sponsored by a campaign, I wouldn’t have a problem with the claim to be an “independent” organization. If they were getting paid by either campaign to make the call (and it’s possible that they weren’t), they had no business claiming independence.
Benson’s campaign has posted here in the past. If anybody from the campaign is reading this, I’d appreciate it if you could let me know whether the Benson campaign is behind this. I may also inquire to the Hayes campaign, though I don’t expect much help.