Apparently I struck a nerve with some on the left with my poll question on collective bargaining. Not only did Left-wing Cheerleader-in-Chief Chris Fitzsimon decry the results as "push polling", but the talking points were passed on to UNC Professor Andrew Perrin (who is basically a government-paid lobbyist for the labor unions) who accused us of the same on his blog.
Take a look at the definition of "push polling" by the polling community standards (and interestingly enough, it’s the one Perrin links to on his blog.
Basically, a "push poll" is something that is not really a poll, but calls large quantities of people (usually voters) and spreads false information in order to influence public opinion, i.e. "Would you be more or less likely to vote for John McCain if you knew that he had fathered 6 illegitimate children?"
Since we conducted an actual scientific telephone survey of a random sample of voters and published the results (that Fitzsimons likes to use when results turn out his way, btw), our poll does not fit the definition of a "push poll."
However, what our poll does do is it tests different messages, and that is perfectly legitimate. Part of the debate in the public policy arena is how issues are framed and many issues can be framed many ways. My question on collective bargaining framed the policy question in the terms of organized labor’s participation in elections. It was just another way to frame the debate on the issue of collective bargaining.
Unfortunately, Fitzsimon and Perrin are falling into the usual left-wing play book of using demonization and scare tactics to distract you from a poll result that they disagree with. It is sad that they have to resort to this to get their message across. If either would like to have a real debate on the perils of collective bargaining and the influence of big labor in our elections, I welcome it any time. (As an aside, isn’t it funny how Fitzsimon can on one had decry the influence of unregulated money in the political system and the need for clean elections, yet turn a blind eye to the millions of unregulated money spent by labor unions.)