Incompetent Political Polling

Tonight I was treated to the most incompetent political poll I have ever experienced.  I suspect that it was a “push poll” for Kathleen Dahlkemper, but if so, she needs to hire better help.  Like, for example, someone who pronounces her name right more than 50% of the time without me correcting him.

I wish I could like Kathy Dahlkemper more.  She seemed like an intelligent and accomplished woman before she ran for office.  The problem is, she now reminds me of the movie “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”  In that movie, whenever George Clooney had a singing part, you would hear the voice of Dan Tyminski.  Whenever Kathy Dahlkemper speaks, I hear Nancy Pelosi’s voice.  I think I would rather hear Kathy speak.

I realize that a good poll is difficult to construct, but this one had some glaring errors.  In the beginning, it did not allow for the chance that someone would vote for a third party candidate.  It also didn’t allow for the possibility that someone can dislike Phil English because he is a squishy moderate who needs to cut government spending almost as much as he needs to cut his caloric intake.  And BTW, didn’t he say something about limiting himself to 12 years in Congress?

The pollster asked what I would like to see in a Congressperson.  He was looking for an answer that would fit into one of about six categories (end abortion, improve national security, provide health care, etc.)  I think I freaked him out, by saying that I would like a congressman who didn’t treat government as an idol; that is, someone who doesn’t think government is supposed to save us from all of our problems.  The poll didn’t have a category for that.

The poll also showed it’s Democratic origins when it rehearsed an argument against Phil English.  The argument went something like this:  “Phil English supports the war in Iraq, which costs X millions of dollars a day that we could use this money for education, health care, etc.”

This is a Democratic argument because it assumes that the government gets to keep all this money.  A conservative argument would be that if we stopped spending money occupying Iraq and trying to make them stop killing each other and live in a democracy, we could use our savings to pay down the national debt, or even to cut taxes.  A modern Democrat is incapable of this sort of thinking.

In addition to the poll being bad, the questioner need to go back to first grade and brush up on his phonics.  He pronounced Kathy Dahlkemper’s name wrong about half the time, and he mentioned the “outscoring” of jobs to foreign countries.  [This sounds like something that happens during the Olympics, and there is really nothing that politicians can do about the Chinese gymnastics teams.]

He asked my religious preference.  I asked him how specific he wanted the answer to be.  We settled on “Protestant Christian”, and then he asked me if I was an “evangel-ist.”  Ugh.  As I taught my kids in first grade, look at all the letters in the word and read them in order, and you will usually get it right.

The next pollster who asks me about my religion gets the answer to the first question of the Heidelberg Catechism.

He also asked my income level, which I gave, because he can probably find this out on the Internet, and he asked whether I own a gun.  I decided not to answer that.  A Republican pollster would probably not have asked that question.


4 thoughts on “Incompetent Political Polling

  1. Liked this post. Good advice to the Dahlkemper campaign. I hope they are reading up on the pertinent blogs. I am sure they would find it enlightening.

  2. What makes you think that it was Dahlkemper that was doing the poll? It could have been anyone. Using your logic you must be a Porter supporter because you brought up a third party candidate and used Pelosi’s name. By the way, what exacrtly has Dahlkemper said that changed your mind?

    I would also point out to yuou it was a modern Democrat who reduced the debt the debt. It was the next administration that jacked it up again and expanded government to its current bloated size.

  3. Liam,

    I explained in my post above why I think it was a Democrat-originated poll. Whether she did it directly is of no concern to me. It was intended to help her. The clues were there.

    I actually did vote third party last year against English, for the Constitution Party candidate. He seemed like a good fellow, but of course being in a third party he didn’t have much of a chance. I would never vote for Steven Porter; he is a whiner. If I remember right he got about 4% of the vote.

    Bill Clinton was president when the debt went down, that’s true. He was dragged into restraining spending by a Republican congress that for a short time cared about cutting spending. Unfortunately, that group of Congressmen (which includes Phil English), after a term or two, got too comfortable in office. THey are now spending as much as everyone else.

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