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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Plainfield push poll season getting a headstart?

Got an email from a reader about a phone poll conducted over the past weekend.

Seems the pollsters were trolling for information about opinions of four Plainfield personalities -- Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs, Board of Ed president Pat Barksdale, former councilor and freeholder Adrian Mapp, and Darlene McWilliams, wife of the late mayor Al McWilliams.

One question asked which of the four the interviewee would vote for if they were candidates and the election for mayor were tomorrow.

Another question asked the interviewee to rate the four as to how effective they were in office. When the interviewee noted that Darlene McWilliams has never -- yet -- held public office, the pollster replied, 'Well, she must have in the past.'

In fairness to the pollster, they are totally ignorant of any background to their questions; they are merely working from a script. It would have been up to the polling firm's administrators to screen the questions proposed for glitches like this.

On the other hand, it may be that those who commissioned the poll are more interested in assessing the relative positive/negative standing of the four and are not concerned with any factuality about the questions.

While what I have learned so far is not conclusive enough to say whether there has been a push poll, I would be more than happy to hear from any readers who may have been polled about the kind of questions they were asked, and also whether anyone's Caller ID happened to catch the pollster's phone number. If you have information to share, email me here or leave a comment on this post.

Seems a bit early to be measuring Mayor Robinson-Briggs' potential against possible opponents in the 2009 primary, especially since Adrian Mapp is the only person who has declared themselves a candidate as of this moment.

However, paranoia is a staple of the local Democratic leadership, and if you're paranoid, it's NEVER to early to worry about who's out to get you.

On the other hand, as the old saying goes, you are NOT paranoid if someone IS out to get you.

To learn more about the difference between PUSH POLLS and legitimate POLLS, check out these resources --
-- Dan Damon

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