Push-Polling Reported In Massachusetts

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Reports have come in of potential push-polling in the Massachusetts Senate race — a practice in which the perpetrator pretends to be a pollster but isn’t really gathering data, instead very quickly begins doing nothing but attacking an opposed candidate.

Boston-based blogger Dan Kennedy reports on the stories coming in. Liberal political caricaturist John Doherty said he received an automated phone call asking him whether he supported Republican Scott Brown or Democrat Martha Coakley. After he pushed the button for Coakley, he was asked whether it would change his vote if he knew Coakley supported taxpayer funding of abortions.

“I’m a poli-sci major, I know what a push poll is, and I knew this was one,” Doherty told me.An Internet message board that tracks telemarketing calls also shows other people have claimed to receive the call.

One report has linked this call to Americans In Contact PAC, a conservative group that supports Brown. A message left with AICPAC has not been returned at this time.

Another reported push-poll is out there, linking Brown to “hate groups.” The call is allegedly linked to McGuire Research. I called there, but I was only able to reach someone in accounting who does not handle the main business operations, and I left a message.

Messages left with the Brown and Coakley campaigns have not been returned.

Late Update: Michael McGuire, owner of McGuire Research, just told me that he is not doing any push polls. He is conducting a tracking poll for an undisclosed client who is interested in the race, but McGuire said his poll is not asking any negative questions about the candidates. So if the anti-Brown push poll does exist, McGuire says that he is not the one doing it.

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