For the past few days our home phone has been dialed by someone the caller ID has named “Arizona” so we haven’t gotten around to answering. Someone I was speaking to this morning did pick-up when the 48th state called and ended up on the phone for 20 minutes answering a poll about the 1st Middlesex State Sentate race featuring Eileen Donoghue and Chris Doherty. Here’s some of what the survey taker asked my reporter:
How likely are you to vote in the Democratic primary for State Senate in September. Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of (1) Patrick Deval (yes, that’s exactly how the poll taker asked it), (2) Niki Tsongas, (3) Marty Meehan (pronounced “Me-hann”), (4) Tim Cahill, (5) Steve Panagiotakos (pronounced something like “Pan-acropolis”) (6) Chris Doherty, (7) Eileen Donghue.
Next the person being surveyed was asked to rate the importance of the following issues on a scale of 1 to 10: immigration, local property taxes, environment, difficulty in firing bad teachers, that a person is an “outsider” running for office, the high costs of healthcare.
Next, the person being surveyed was asked whether the following statements about the candidates “make you concerned or not concerned:” that a candidate was a career prosecutor; that a candidate had helped juveniles turn away from crime and get off streets; that a candidate had defended a person that produced fake IDs for minors, that a candidate was a political “insider”; that a candidate had given money to a Republican candidate who was backed by Mitt Romney (the questioner flubbed up his name too), that a candidate had used used $500K of their own money to run for Congress; that a candidate, while a Lowell city councilor, had voted against balancing the city’s budget.
There were quite a few other questions but they had rating choices like “very concerned, somewhat concerned, no opinion, somewhat not concerned and not concerned” and were worded in a very confusing (and unmemorable) way. Towards the end, the survey asked whether the respondent was going to vote for Chris Doherty or Eileen Donoghue and how likely was it that the respondent would change that choice. The poll ended by asking whether the respondent was Latino and the respondent’s race; also whether the respondent was married, single, with partner, divorced, etc and whether there was a child under 18 in the house.
Who could have commissioned a poll such as this?