Tuesday, October 2, 2012


Which four letter word do you like more?

You can tell an election is coming up - I get at least one phone call a day asking my opinion about which party or candidate I like more, who I'm voting for, which issues I care about, etc etc etc.

I can sorta appreciate the modern polling system, although sometimes I wonder if there is any use for them which actually benefit the electorate. When I was younger, I helped run a series of telephone surveys for a school budget initiative, and we used the poll results to help make sure our supporters got out and voted. When the final tally came in - my predicted numbers almost perfectly matched the poll results.

I've tried to stay out of politics since, but I'm usually cooperative when a legitimate poll group calls me and is willing to respect my time and ask some good, meaningful questions.

Far too often, I get political calls disguised as polls. These are usually automated messages that take the form of "Touch 1 if you agree with Joe Politico that taxes will murder 1 out of ever 5 Americans, or touch 2 if you feel that evil Oscar Opponent has never met a tax bill he didn't like." I hang up on these.

But this weekend I received a call from someone who asked questions that were generally pretty good and not overtly political. I had some issues when they asked which party I would vote for, and I stated I don't vote based on parties, but the questions quickly got more specific about individual candidates. The first problem is that, in order to get specific, they had to list pros and cons of every candidate running for State Senate. It dragged on and on. But I answered all the questions... I answered the questions about if I changed my mind during the poll... and I answered questions confirming the previous questions. Ok, that ordeal was done.

They called me back the next day. Apparently they forgot to ask me some questions. I asked how long it would take. "No more than two minutes." I promptly hung up at two minutes, when they were midway through their first question.

They called back yesterday and started the entire poll over. I told them they had called me already. She apologized and hung up. An hour later, they called once more. When I started answering their questions before they started asking the next one, they thanked me and hung up.

Even better, however, was when the campaign office for my Congress-critter called. Came up fine on the caller-ID and they identified themselves as the campaign office, and not the constituent services office. They then asked some questions about how I felt about certain issues and who I would be voting for. I had to wonder... did they actually think I was going to tell them the truth? I told them what they wanted to hear, since I really wasn't interested in helping this particular candidate out any.

So... tell me what you like... do you find polls highly annoying, annoying, neither annoying nor not annoying, not annoying, or highly not annoying?

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