Burke’s Bulldog is a contributing writer on Leavenworth St.
In my political background, I’ve had to explain to people multiple times what a “push poll” is. Essentially, a voter will get a phone call from a candidate’s campaign or interest group and it will go something like this:
“How do you feel about Candidate X? Favorable or Unfavorable.”
If the voter says “favorable” the caller will then say something along these lines:
“Thank you. And if I were to tell you that Candidate X has a history of failing to pay his taxes, hates puppies, and thinks rainbows should be outlawed, would that change your favorable opinion?”
Basically, these phone calls are designed to hurt Candidate X.
It was, literally, a push poll. Mr. Hansen called an ethicist at Creighton and asked which is worse, engaging in cybersex on a state computer (à la Bill Kintner) or a DUI like assistant football coach Keith Williams. Surprisingly, the ethicist correctly pointed out that while what Kintner did was bad, what Williams did – putting other people’s lives in danger – was worse.
But wait, said Hansen, what if I told you more about Kintner! He then listed eight “negatives” – at least three of which were taken out of context. He then reads a list of positive attributes of Williams.
Not surprisingly, the Creighton prof said, essentially, “Well, yes, it sounds like Kintner has a history of being a jerk and Williams is a good guy.”
Which is the exact results you want from a push poll.
Mind you, this wasn’t in the opinion section. Oh no. It wasn’t even in the Midland’s section. This was on the front page of the paper above the fold.
I guess when the OWH finally just admits that they are the Democrats’ mouthpiece, Matt will have a leg up on his new career as a pollster.