Sunday, November 20, 2011

SOURCE: Alleged "Push Poll" Promotes Duchy Trachtenberg, Dings Sen. Rob Garagiola in 6th Congressional District Race

UPDATE: A neutral observer questions the framing of this as a "push poll." They write, "it sounds like a standard messaging poll to gauge what attacks to use, etc. No one would have a live 20min interview to push negative info 12 months before an election. Just sayin." A second reader, who happens to be an elected endorser of Mr Garagiola, also begs to differ: "The content of the post suggests this poll is testing basic positive and negative messaging in preparation for paid media (i.e. direct mail, radio, TV, phones in a congressional race).  There’s nothing I see from your post that suggests a 'push' operation going on." To be clear, the "push poll" characterization is not Maryland Juice's -- it is the poll respondent's characterization. Either way, this type of polling indicates this may not be a positive primary race.

An anonymous source has provided Maryland Juice with details of what they call a "push poll" that appears to promote former Montgomery Councilmember Duchy Trachtenberg while criticizing State Senator Rob Garagiola. Our source reported receiving a call this Saturday, from a live poller, who asked fifteen to twenty minutes worth of questions regarding the Democratic Primary for the 6th Congressional District. The entity making the calls is unknown, and no telephone number was provided.

The poll began with questions about the participants' views on the favorability and unfavorability of three likely Democratic candidates: Sen. Rob Garagiola, former Montgomery Councilmember Duchy Trachtenberg, and businessman John Delaney. Notably, the poll also included questions about former State Delegate and Congressional candidate Mark Shriver.

Our source believes that at this point the poll began to "push" negative information about Mr. Garagiola and positive information about Ms. Trachtenberg. Supposedly, the negative information about Mr. Garagiola pointed to his role as an "entrenched politician," noted his status as Majority leader, and also called him a lobbyist for the health insurance industry. The poll also asked respondents their feelings about Mr. Garagiola after noting his vote against a bill banning the reading of text messages while driving and after hearing about his vote on a bill requiring insurance companies to cover autism treatments.

In contrast, the poll allegedly asked respondents their feelings about Ms. Trachtenberg after hearing about her unwavering support of gay rights and pro-choice policies. Our source claims the poll also explained that Ms. Trachtenberg was defeated for office because she wouldn't give in to the demands of labor unions.

This is an interesting way to start this race, since it reveals a bit of the Trachtenberg camp's thinking on the race. We'll see what happens next!

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