That One Time When I Participated In a Political Poll

A fast-talking, official-sounding woman just called my cell phone and told me she was doing a survey on cell phone users. Before I could even get a word in edgewise, she started spouting off questions about Obama and Romney and I suddenly didn’t want to hang up.

As a communications professional, I’m always interested in how surveys are used to “spin things” or create news by demonstrating trends in behavior or beliefs.

Obviously, we now have the RNC and DNC behind us and there’s lots of political polling, slicing and dicing on public opinion to try and predict the election results. And per usual, the pundits are talking til they’re blue in the face (or red, in the case of Fox News).

I’m never one to withhold my opinion on ANYTHING, so I loved the fact that this robotic woman wanted to ask me about my political leanings. However, the call was not as fun as I’d anticipated. I wanted to have a conversation with this woman, to debate, to chat. All she wanted were my answers, hastily chosen from generic multiple choice answers.

Here are some of the oddly-worded questions this bossy woman asked me:

  • Do you think Obama’s stimulus package was a very good idea or a very bad idea for the country? (no grey area answers allowed)
  • Was Obama’s DNC speech excellent, good, not good or very bad?
  • Are you more “comfortable” with your savings than you were a year ago?
  • Is your net worth higher than it was a year ago?
  • Have your feelings about Mitt Romney worsened or stayed the same over the past few days?

The questions are totally leading and many of the multiple choice answers force you to take a very firm stance on one side of the fence or another. I’m more moderate and my beliefs usually fall within a grey area. It was still fun to throw hopefully throw off some algorithms.

I’m just excited because the next time I hear a newscaster say “the polls indicate…,” they just might be talking about ME!

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