I Just Got Polled!

This is too funny not to post. I just got polled on the TX Gubernatorial race.

Poller: Miss Michelle, If you had to vote today, would you vote for Republican Rick Perry, Democrat Chris Bell, Independent Kinky Friedman, or Independent Carole Strayhorn?

Me: (laughing) OMG, am I finally being polled? I am voting Libertarian, James Werner.

Poller: That is not an option. You can only pick from the four. Republican Rick…

Me: There are five candidates on the ballot and I am voting Libertarian, James Werner.

Poller: So you are undecided?

Me: I am not undecided. I am voting for James Werner. Please write that down. Libertarian, James Werner.

Poller: OK, next question.

He asked me about off premises liquor in Richardson, TX and ended the call after I answered.

I swear that I am dying over here. Funny, funny stuff. I hope that guy talks to his supervisor about the lady who “thinks” there are five candidates. And then I hope he looks up the Libertarian Party.

  1. What’s funny is that these pollsters claim that they add those candidates if people bring them up. But I think the truth is that they’ll just remove those responses or make them undecided.

    There’s only one word for these types of practices from the media and pollsters: UNETHICAL.

  2. I know of many polling firms that will lump those voters into “Undecided” when reporting out, a practice I don’t consider unethical _unless_ those responses are > 1% of the sample size.

    No reputable pollster would not record the fact that the response was given, or fail to give it to the person who commissioned the poll.

    Also, keep in mind that the media agencies and campaigns may not choose to publicize all of the poll results. Say, for example, that a poll is conducted and the results are: 48% – Kinky, 21% – Goodhair, 19% – Ding-Dong, 10% – Grandma, 1% – Werner, and 1% – undecided. Many media outlets will just report the top 2-3 figures in the interest of brevity. They’re not telling the whole story, but many have been taught that the average reader is too stupid or impatient to deal with all the details.

    But yes, if a pollster does not record the response correctly, that is unethical.

  3. If it is a legitimate polling organization that is one thing, but if it is a poll working for a candidate that is another. They may be just creating a poll that can be used for advertising and we need to call them on that. Get out that press release. Write a letter to the editor. Just point out their bias, or lack of legitimate science.
    Just another opinion from an opinionated person.

  4. Stephen is probably right in that most pollsters probably just chalk up responses for other candidates as “undecided,” but I’m glad Michelle stood her ground. The same thing is happening in Florida’s U.S. Senate race, where pro-war Democrat Bill Nelson, one of the infamous “Torture Twelve,” and his GOP challenger Cruella Da Ville, aka Katherine Harris — the woman responsible for giving us the Commander-in-Thief — are the only names being polled.

    We got lucky in a recent Mason-Dixon Poll, however, when at least a half-dozen folks in a poll of 618 likely voters insisted that they were voting for Brian Moore, an independent anti-war candidate, even though his name wasn’t mentioned by the pollster. Rather than dumping Moore’s totals into the undecided column, Mason-Dixon actually did the right thing and credited him with 1% of the vote. I guess that’s a moral victory in this day and age. Give ’em hell, Michelle!

  5. “That is not an option. You can only pick from the four.”


    About as stubborn as the woman I polled for the Smither campaign who decided that she would not vote in the special election because there was no Democrat. She also had no idea who Lampson, Sekula-Gibbs, or Smither were.

  6. Hey, Nigel

    I had some similarly interesting experiences this past weekend when I was making polling calls for Smither. I read off the candidate choices to this one guy who responded by saying, “Cindy”. Knowing he must have been Shelley Sekula-Gibbs, but not wanting to lead his selection, I told him there wasn’t anyone named “Cindy” and gave him the names again. He then chose Shelley. Shelley’s name came up again among the candidates in the special election question and, not surprisingly, he chose her again. The final question was, “What is your impression of Shelley Sekula-Gibbs: Favorable, Neutral, Unfavorable, or Never Heard of Her.” He chose the latter – LOL!

    Another man I called immediately got hostile and began asking me a bunch of questions about who was paying for this survey and then demanding *my* phone number before finally hanging up. Geez!

  7. I wish I would get polled but since I no longer have a land line I’m completely out of the picture. Obviously as fewer and fewer people have land lines, these polls are going to be skewed in demographics.

  8. Holy crap, I had a VERY similar experience to this.

    Keep in mind that I am a recovering “liberal.”

    I actually ran for Congress for the GP in 2004.

    I was polled.. “Who are you voting for, George Bush or John Kerry?”

    “I’m actually the Green Party’s candidate for Congress.”

    The poller was not enthused. “Who are you voting for, George Bush or John Kerry?”

    There were a bunch of other questions, culminating with “How familiar with the Republican candidate for Congress are you?”

    “I AM a congressional candidate! VERY FAMILIAR!”

    And of course, “Do you intend to vote for the Republican candidate for Congress, or the Democratic candidate?”

    The poller would simply NOT accept the answer that I would be voting for myself!

  9. There are ethics organizations for pollsters, but I don’t know much about them. Shouldn’t we be working with them to discourage this sort of thing?

    I would guess it’s 90% ignorance, 9% laziness, 1% malfeasance, at least in terms of the person on the other end of the line. Higher up, maybe 90% laziness, 9% malfeasance, 1% ignorance.

    But what they’re doing amounts to push-polling, and the ethics groups should be willing to help educate them. If they persist, well, at they can’t say it was an honest mistake.

    Anyone know anything about the polling industry?

  10. Dondero: “Hey what do you know? I just got polled too! My wife and I were swinging. I mean Swinging. She was watching in a closet, when a soldier on leave (don’t ask, don’t tell) polled me good!”

  11. Oh my God, that’s the funniest thing I’ve ever read on HoT. I’ve got tears in my eyes… UA is the best!

  12. I read once on a tip that I should take an article because I always complain about sex or drugs. How dare U_A usurp my position? An “I got poled” issue never even crossed my mind.

    Gutter, gutter, gutter.

  13. Just read something interesting at DMN LTE section

    Broken political system

    Re: “Their time to shine ”“ Perry, Bell give strongest showing as challengers attack incumbent,” Saturday news story.

    Political writers and editorialists may think it is smart to disrespect Kinky Friedman and Carole Keeton Strayhorn, but readers may see it differently.

    Evidence that the two-party system is broken? How about a Texas gubernatorial election likely to be won by someone most Texans won’t vote for?

    Many Texans want alternatives, and I will vote Libertarian. Even with negative publicity or silence from The Dallas Morning News, it looks like Libertarians will have their best year yet!

    Larry Nickerson, Haltom City

  14. Hey wait a second Darcy. Why the nasty slam on Katherine Harris? That was a little over the line.

    You must not be aware. Ms. Harris attended the recent Republican Liberty Caucus National Convention in Orlando. She gave a fantastic presentation at the cocktail party in front of about 50 libertarians. It was quite an inspiring libertarian speech. We were, to say the least, blown away. She is quite attractive in person. And her presentation skills are the best I’ve ever seen.

    What’s more, Katherine stayed for the banquet. This is a sitting United States Congresswoman with a busy schedule. She didn’t have to stay, but she wanted to hear her friend, banquet speaker WSJ Editorialist Stephen Moore. She took notes during Moore’s entire speech.

    What’s more, we had some folks at the RLC Conv. from “Law Enforcement for Drug Legalization.” They talked to Katherine out in the hallway for almost 45 minutes about legalizing drugs, quite passionately.

  15. Hey more publicity for me. Go for it. But you gotta wait your turn.

    Some hardcore anti-Social Darwinist has a whole Yahoo Group dedicated to slamming me for being “America’s Libertarian Kook Social Darwinist.” (I’m a diehard Social Darwinist and along with Charles Murry am one of the only defenders of Capitalism among mostly leftwing biased academic Evolutionists.) He even had a cartoon drawn up of me. It’s hilarious.

    Join Yahoo Social Darwinism group for more…

  16. Seriously, if you all really want to be pissed off, visit RealClearPolitics.com. For weeks now when you click on CD-22 Texas you get only Hyphen lady and the Tax Collector from Beaumont. Not even a mention of Smither.

    I’ve been emailing them ruthlessly every single day for 2 weeks now about this. With zero response!

    We need to flood them with emails.

    Please fellow HOT bloggers. Go to Real Clear Politics and send them a nasty email NOW!!

  17. Ditto Michelle,

    I haven’t been polled for the gov race, but several years ago I experienced the same in a congressional poll. The best thing to do would be do ask them for what polling agency they are calling, and then blog them to death about it.

  18. Dondero, you think Katherine Harris is a libertarian now? You’ve got to be kidding. That’s even crazier than when you called redstate and National Review libertarian. (Or tried to say Bureaucrash and Jesse Ventura are pro-war.)

    I’m glad to hear that you find Katherine Harris attractive. Now we all know that you prefer women with horse faces covered with multiple layers of makeup.

  19. undercover, here’s another funny joke:

    “I’m a rock ”˜n rolling Heavy Metal/Punk Rock dude. I like my music, fast, hard and loud. I favor drug legalization. I’m very, very, very much in favor of every sexual freedom you can imagine, so long as it doesn’t involve minors or scare the horses. One of my biggest issues is Swinger’s rights, and pushing for more topless and nude beaches in the US.”
    -Eric Dondero trying to prove he’s a libertarian despite the fact he is pro-war and worships big government Republicans.

  20. by the way, I don’t know why Hammer of Truth tolerates Dondero spamming his sites/groups in every thread

  21. imo, HoT “tolerates” Dondero because he is hilarious! I have gotten more enjoyment out of this site since the demon-birth of Dondero… Now, I get the hard news from the HoT staff, good insight from the credible posters, and massive hilarity from the likes of the man I like to call Dondyboy. This makes HoT the best site on the web!

  22. I’m surprised that they let Eric into RLC conventions after the whole blowup where Eric got reprimended very publicly by the RLC chairman. Apparently Eric was going around claiming that he founded the RLC.

  23. No Brian, I DO NOT think Katherine Harris is a “libertarian” by any stretch. At best she’s a Moderate Republican with very slight Conservative leanings. She’s a Bushie. But she’s personally quite pleasant, and very open to working with libertarians.

    You got a problem with that?

  24. Tom,

    I was honored no less than 4 times at the RLC National Convention as the “Founder” of the Republican Liberty Caucus, twice at the Friday night Hospitality Suite, once at the Saturday night Hospitality Suite (with Harris speaking), and once at the Saturday night Banquet (Stephen Moore). Yes, absolutely Westmiller and I have had our differences. But he’s honest and competent. We even went out for a late night steak Friday night with my wife and State Rep. Ken Lindell (ME). Though friggin’ $%^#@#$$ Westmiller got us lost! ;-) (Though, he probably blames me for this.)

  25. Katherine Harris: “There is no separation between church and state. It’s a lie.”

    Dondy: “She’s a ‘moderate’ Republican.”

  26. Here, here, undercoveranarchist. I agree HoT is the Best of the Libertarian Blogs. Though, Third Party Watch and Ballot Access News are good too.

    But if you guys really want to be effective on-line bloggers for liberty, take a visit to right-wing Red State and left-wing DailyKos from time to time and slam the liberals and conservatives on their complete ignorance of libertarians.

    Hint, hint…

  27. Brian laughs at my musical tastes and cultural libertarianism. This from a guy who worships at the alter of Barry Manilow, gets stoned on “hot tea”, and whose sex life consists of his collection of old Britney Spears videos. Though, when Brian really wants to rock it’s the Bay City Rollers!! S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y NIeet!

  28. “KC & the Sunshine Band is socialist music. ‘Shake Your Booty’ clearly promotes sodomy. Stone them!”

  29. I’d really like Dondero’s wife to come on here. I’m dying to hear from a woman that is willing to marry this guy. Although, I have to admit that he’s a lot of fun!

    I still fail to understand the logical purpose behind the mental masturbation that is RLC. Although, I’d say having Katherine Harris as a speaker pretty much sums it all up. Gag me.

    As far as going on DailyKos, I think it would be more productive to join the discussion rather than slam them. But you aren’t likely to make progress there. They are as sycophantic to the DNC as freerepublic visitors are to the RNC. Although liberals generally do tend to be a little more open minded even then. Of course Kos would have us beleive that being a Democratic sycophant and otherwise leftist liberal qualifies you as a libertarian. Kinda like Dondero thinks being a right wing Republican with a bad voting record makes you one too.

  30. I recently saw something on Book TV about the Bush admin, and how when like minds get together, “ideological amplification” (I think that’s what they called it) takes place. The author took surveys on issues like global warming, gun control, immigration, etc. Then he had people who took the surveys come together to discuss their opinions; separating liberals and conservatives. After discussion, the liberals went further left, the conservatives went further right.

    As a former active Green Party member, I can totally relate to this. I was more of a center-left Democrat when I joined the GP, and briefly identified myself as a socialist before leaving the party. Thankfully, it was their own hyporcrasy that woke me up. I realized that government action is inherently violent. Though I question him now, watching Badnarik in debates also helped me become a libertarian. And of course, there is the infiltration of violent Marxists into the Michigan GP. That didn’t hurt either.

  31. Anyway, my point is that there is some serious, SERIOUS “ideological amplification” going on over at DailyKos. The people aren’t rational. I used to post at Democratic Underground and I got banned for admitting the truth that the modern Democratic Party was founded in the name of white supremacy. Sorry, facts are facts.

    And the good thing about having such disparate views among libertarians is that “ideological amplification” is less severe. Of course, some groups of libertarians quarter themselves off and become extremists. But a blog like this has very diverse viewpoints.

  32. independents and non voters. go for ALL of them, and 10% of weak support of R’s and D’s – do this and you just created a new majority.

    and of course, the already libertarian go even further into la la land and anarchist areas.

  33. Undercover_anarchist, re. #10, I feel your frustration. I was with Andre Marrou in Nebraska when a radio talk show host interviewing Marrou KNEW on “good authority” that Lyndon LaRouche was the LP candidate for prez and Marrou had to spend 30 minutes convincing this idot that HE was the candidate, not LaRouche.

    Maybe we should send some of our candidates out with bags on their heads and signs declaring them as the “unknown candidate.”

  34. Tom, I encountered Eric in the early 90s and have always believed him to be the founder of the RLC.

    Hmmm. The RLC is trying to make the GOP more libertarian and the LPRC is trying to make the LP more republican.

    I think the LP and GOP should work out a deal – we get our libertarians back and they take their republicans back. As an incentive, they can keep Dondero.

  35. “-Eric Dondero; trying to prove he’s a libertarian despite the fact he is pro-war and worships big government Republicans.”

    Well said.

  36. Hey guys. I’ve appeared on 5 radio interviews already today in 5 different states: CT, NH, MO, WI and DE. I’ll be on a bunch more this week. The media has latched on to the “Blue collar libertarians” trend. I expect it to hit the press here soon. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

  37. Joe, are you the same Joe Knight from New Mexico? You used to work for the National LP in some capacity, right?

    It’s been many years. Nice to encounter you again. I believe we had a falling out over something long forgotten. Water under the bridge as far as I’m concerned.

  38. I think the incentive for them would be for us to keep Dondero.

    Compromise: noone has to keep Dondero. He has to start building the America for Liberman Party from scratch.

  39. Dondero writes:

    But if you guys really want to be effective on-line bloggers for liberty, take a visit to right-wing Red State and left-wing DailyKos from time to time and slam the liberals and conservatives on their complete ignorance of libertarians.

    Folks turn on the TV and Bill Maher claims to be a libertarian, change the channel and Joe Scarborough and Tucker Carlson say they are libertarians, turn on the radio and Sean Hannity intoduces his libertarian friend, Neal Boortz, then go on the internet and Glenn Reynolds is a libertarian, then go to the blogs and run into Dondero.

    Is it any damned wonder people have a complete ignorance of libertarians? Worse, some LP cultists become orgasmic when they even hear the word “libertarian” anywhere in the media and think it’s just great.

    Now Joe Lieberman, Chomsky, all NRA members, and anyone that wants to pay less taxes is a libertarian. Who’s next? Hitler?

  40. Eric, I’m the same Joe Knight. I remember our first meeting at a campus in Florida in ’92? – in Talahassee I beleive, but it could have been another – I was doing the “survey” to start a College Libertarian Club and you were dogging my booth trying to republicanize my prospects.

    I’ve always thought Libertarians working in the Reptile Party was like Jews working in the Nazi Party. But since the LP seems bent on becoming just Junior Republicans anyway, I’m starting to wonder if we might just as well opt for the real thing. (Well, actually, I’d quit voting first.)

  41. I want to get polled! I’d love that. :)


    Alexander S. Peak
    Membership Chair, College Libertarians of Towson