Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Leading survey

I just received a telephone call that was a 1 minute Texas political survey. The first thing I noticed is that it was all automated -- I wasn't talking to a real person on the other end and could just answer yes/no. I wasn't too fond of that. Especially since I would have given an earful to the person regarding the questions.

This survey was full of leading questions -- you know the ones, sort of like "do you still beat your wife?" Obviously this survey had an agenda and I decided to ride it out. In my Intro to PR class I spend a day covering surveys, and while not in too much detail, I would think that my students would know not to ask questions like this. By the time they graduate the PR majors take a Research Methods class and in there they darn well learn not to ask those questions. Maybe this pollster should go back to school.

So what were the questions? Things like "Do you think Ronnie Earle is once again playing politics with the Tom DeLay indictment?", "Do you think the government should be allowed to take about your house to build a building?" and "Do you think the government should allow school vouchers so that parents can send their children to the best school possible?" How do you answer these questions -- no, I don't want to send children to the best possible schools.

The more the survey went on, the more frustrated I got. I realized whoever was doing this poll was going to use it for their own agenda and own spin. Still, I was curious and didn't want to hang up, so instead I became a bit obstinate. School vouchers? No. Would I vote for Gov. Perry? No. Am I a Republican? No. Am I a Democrat? No. Is Ronnie Earle playing politics? No. Is my property tax too high? No.

After a minute all the questions are asked and the automated voice thanked me for my participation and informed me that the survey was sponsored by the Texas Republican Party. Yeah, I definitely think they need to go back to school.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

These things are going around in every district in Texas. They are shameless. I posted about your experience on PinkDome.