Dittos, 

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Confessions of a Poll Questioner

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH:  Phil in Orlando.  Phil, thank you for waiting.  Nice to have you on the EIB Network.  Hello.

CALLER:  Yeah, I just want to say mega dittos.  I've been listening to you for decades, and I want to thank you and Ronald Reagan for saving the country.

RUSH:  Thank you, sir, very, very much.  I appreciate being lumped in that way. 

CALLER:  I'm sure you would.  I'm sure you would.

RUSH:  Thank you very much.

CALLER:  I've got a lot of interesting things to say about what you're saying about.  First of all, in 2010 I was looking for any work I could get.  I hired on with a nationwide political survey company here in the central Florida area.  I won't mention their name, but they're one of the biggest.  I was doing 15, 16-hour shifts, seven days a week for the three months prior to the midterm 2010 election.  And most of the people they were calling were liberals.  They're trying to marshal the troops but they sometimes had issues --

RUSH:  Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.  I need two things.  I need you to slow down so that I can follow you.  Number two, most of the people you called from the big-name polling company were liberals?

CALLER:  Yes.  They were paid by liberals, and I was scripted to ask questions a certain way.  Now, they did sometimes call a certain number of conservatives to try to get a balanced point of view.

RUSH:  Well, how did you know you were calling liberals?

CALLER:  There was an indication on the computer screen as I'm clicking and the party affiliation was there and they would also confirm that when I called in. The nature of the questions also made it very obvious.  Now, I just wanted to say one thing.  One of the most interesting questions I was asked to ask was, "Do you approve or do you disapprove of the job that Barack Obama is doing as president?"  Now, 95% of the conservatives immediately said, "Are you kidding me?  Disapprove."  It was like almost unanimous. 

But on the liberal side maybe 70, 75% were saying approve, but then, on my own volition, I decided to reword the question a little bit.  And I said, on the next several hundred calls, I mean I was doing I don't know how many calls a day, I said, "Do you approve, do you disapprove, or are you undecided about the job Barack Obama is doing as president?"  Again, the conservatives, no change, 95% or more.  The liberals were going, "You know, I would have to say undecided." It was up to 50, 65% were then all of a sudden undecided.  It was kind of a very telling thing, just the way you structure your questions makes a difference.  You know, there was a hundred people in this call center, most of them were liberals.  There were about five conservatives like myself. 

I felt like an infiltrator, but I have a disability and had to take any work I could get, and I took this job.  It was very, very interesting.  And another very interesting thing that happened, one of the conservatives I called, his name was John Hancock, and he was very patriotic.  He said, "Look, my grandfather's grandfather was the original John Hancock."  And he went on and on.  He was a big fan of yours.  He was a big fan of the Tea Party.  He even gave me permission to hang onto his phone number, but unfortunately my cell phone busted a few weeks later; I never got a chance to call that guy back.  But he remembered me, and I was laughing, 'cause I said, "Look, you'll remember me when I call you 'cause I'm Phil the infiltrator," and he laughed.  But it was just an interesting thing. 

I did service for these people for 90 days.  We were all scripted.  And, you know, I occasionally took the liberty to try to reword the question to try to gauge what's really going on out there, and this is one of the biggest survey companies in the nation calling all the way to Alaska and Hawaii at one o'clock in the morning, from nine a.m. 'til one in the morning.  And I was working these graveyard shifts.  I was working my way out of foreclosure, which I managed to do.  I mean I busted my butt.  But anyway, just a very interesting process.  And a hundred people in the call center on the computer, scripted, and the name and the party affiliation is --

RUSH:  What would you say, if I were to ask you to say in one or two sentences what you learned doing this, what would you say?

CALLER:  It is easy to structure surveys to produce the results that the client wants.  All you have to do is be careful about the way you're wording it and the way you ask the question.

RUSH:  Yeah, but there's something even more powerful here.  You call these liberals and you ask 'em, approve or disapprove, and 75 approve. But you give the option of undecided and that gets cut in half?

CALLER:  Oh, yeah.  And you gotta remember, Rush, when I was getting 80% approve, 20% actually disapprove, and this is in 2010 back when they were still arguing stupid things like environmental issues and the polar bears are drowning. That was just during the midterm election, the 90 days right before the November election in 2010.

RUSH:  All right.  So, having done this, what's your reaction now when you hear the results of any poll that's reported in the news?

CALLER:  I believe we have to look very closely at the questions being asked and who's asking 'em, and I feel that Romney's on far better ground than he realizes. And as a person who's been on the inside of this, I would like to tell him to just please come out with a stronger message. We'll all get behind him, you know?

RUSH:  Yeah.

CALLER:  Push a strong conservative message.

RUSH:  Well, it sounds to me like essentially what you're saying here is that the polls that you were taking had questions structured in such a way that Democrats were boxed into answers that, regardless how they answered, you got an acceptable opinion for Obama, because only certain options were available to 'em.  And we all know this. You can structure a poll to get whatever you want out of it.  I've long believed and I've long stated that polls have ceased many moons ago being reflections of public opinion. Polls are now news stories.  They are an excuse to report the news as news networks and news divisions want the news covered.  They're simply ways to shape public opinion now in the form of a news story, rather than actually reflect public opinion. 

The polls that are taken that actually reflect public opinion are the polls taken by the campaigns.  They can't afford to monkey around.  And these are the polls that we never see.  Campaign polls, White House internals they're called in some cases, or the Romney internal polls, they can't afford to lie to themselves.  They can't afford to live delusions.  You gotta wonder though about Obama and if they're all caught up in delusions.  I think they are.  I think they are.  I think they're really still stuck in this messiah mindset. I think they're stuck in this notion that their guy is universally loved, adored, and respected, and looked way, way up to.  I think they're fooling themselves, big time.  It's interesting, Phil.  Thanks for the call.  I appreciate it.

END TRANSCRIPT

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