Grand Junction residents have been receiving “push polls” spreading negative, misleading information about Democrat Bernie Buescher. As reported in today’s Grand Junction Sentinel, the most recent poll is distorting a trivial vote Buescher made allegedly supporting funding sex-change operations for prison inmates.
Bob Caskey, the Republican challenging incumbent Buescher, claims he has nothing to do with the “poll” conducted by Houston-based Promark Research. While Caskey’s campaign itself might not be directly related, given Promark’s track record it’s hard to believe Caskey is anything but pleased by the outside “research.”An August 13, 2006 piece in the Charleston Gazette in West Virigina mentions “push polling” from Promark. The lede in that story:
A Texas polling company is conducting telephone polls in Vest Virginia that appear to be aimed at influencing the congressional race between Democratic Rep. Alan Mollohan and Republican Chris Wakim.
The polltakers describe the surveys, carried out by Houston-based Promark Research Corp., as “public-opinion surveys,” and they start of with innocuous questions, according to state residents who have participated.
But they eventually start posing loaded questions that are critical of Mollohan and complimentary toward Wakim…
The Charleston Gazette quotes a David Collins who says, “They asked things like, ‘Would you be more or less likely to vote if you knew [Mollohan] was under investigation?’ It became clear the call was not to get my opinion, but to change my opinion. “
Only positive information was spread about the Republican candidate, asking respondents if they knew Wakim was an “injured Persian Gulf war veteran”. The only problem: Wakim wasn’t injured during combat, nor did he serve in the Persign Gulf war.
Nor is this Promark’s first foray into Colorado politics. On June 24, 2006, the Pueblo Chieftain ran this piece about a Promark “opinion” poll:
Several Puebloans have reported receiving poll calls in recent weeks about the local sheriff’s race, which they suspected were “push polls,” designed to cast a bad light on Democratic candidate Kirk Taylor. […]
Three Puebloans who spoke to The Pueblo Chieftain said the telephone questions were of the general nature: Would it affect your opinion if you knew that Taylor failed the bar exam after completing law school, or if he had been arrested for drunken driving in a hit-and-run accident? There also were questions about Corsentino, one mentioning accusations of sexual harassment against him and others about his management of the sheriff’s department.
Tom Meyers of Beulah, a Democrat who said he is a supporter of Taylor’s bid for office, said the pollster asked if he knew Taylor is “biracial.”
“I said ‘What difference could that make? Pueblo’s biracial,’ ” Meyers said.
Nina Dockery, who said she’s an unaffiliated voter, said the pollster who called her asked whether she would vote for Taylor “if he allegedly had a DUI.”
Three “opinion polls” from Promark, three pro-Republican slants spreading misinformation about Democrats.