Propaganda masquerading as polling

December 10, 2011

I don’t usually answer the phone unless I know who’s calling. But one day recently I grabbed the phone after the third ring  because I thought it might be my husband and didn’t want to take the time to check caller ID (the answering machine cuts in on the fourth ring). It turned out to be a public opinion poll.

We’ve been getting a lot of those calls lately – something about living in Iowa with a presidential election coming next year. The few times I’ve taken these calls in the past few months (usually because I’m expecting a call and forget to check caller ID before answering), I’ve declined to participate, explaining that I really hadn’t been paying any attention to the candidates yet.

Now it’s getting close enough to caucus time that I am starting to pay a bit more attention. Besides, the woman on the phone seemed friendly, unlike some I have talked to on such calls who display no warmth or personality. Also, I wasn’t in the middle of anything except waiting for a cake to bake. And finally, I like to occasionally participate in a poll just to have an idea what questions people are being asked, so that when I see poll results I have an idea how meaningful they might be.

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