I must write to thank Barbara Keating for her illuminating letter to the editor that put me on alert for polling calls.
Indeed, it is the season for a bombardment of calls as we approach the November election, so her letter was very timely. It was so timely, in fact, that I received a polling call the same night that the letter appeared in The Free Press.
Because I had been alerted to a “push poll,” which is not so much soliciting my opinion but instead is manipulating me to favor a particular candidate based on how the questions are formulated and information is supplied.
When the pollster called, she politely asked if I would participate in a poll. I asked two questions: how long will it take? and who is paying for this poll? It was to take about 10 minutes, but she didn’t know who was sponsoring the call.
I then stated that if I sensed that a bias was being presented in the questions, I wanted her to know that I would just hang up. She then politely thanked me for my time and hung up. I imagine this pollster was being paid for each completed survey, so she didn’t want to waste her time on me. Perhaps others would like to adopt this strategy for screening polling calls.