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Saturday, November 17, 2007
posted by Justin Hart | 9:58 AM | permalink
Jonathan Martin has his updates here but it appears we’re the only one with a major source

I’ve communicated to my source at Western Wats on numerous occasions now. (see here and here )

He is a senior executive at the company. He is very tight lipped about the whole thing but notes the following:

  • The call could have been made at anyone of their locations (they have call centers in Utah, Idaho, Nebraska, Kansas)
  • They employ over 1500 people across the country and have dozens of projects happening at any given moment
  • They claim that they do not do push polling… rather their focus has been message testing. They do this for political campaigns and Fortune 500 companies to gauge the reaction to certain facts and pieces of information.
  • They don’t write the scripts. They don’t analyze the data. They have no stake in the end results.
  • In many cases they have no idea who the end client is. (this way they don’t taint the data one way or the other)
  • He indicated that he would love nothing more than a political entity to force their hand on this and reveal the client. But his hands are tied.
  • He believes that if the script is ever made available that the reaction will be “Is this all? that’s not a big deal.”
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I think it's ridiculous that Western Wats and other companies like them could say that they "do not do push polling" yet they also say that they "don’t write the scripts." If they don't write the scripts, then how do they know that their clients aren't going to just write a push poll? And if they are making sure that their clients don't write push polls, what happens if their client does write something that Western Wats considers to be a push poll? Wouldn't their input to help clients change their questions mean that they are helping clients “write the scripts?” I just don't see how they can have it both ways.

I've helped run a campaign before where my candidate was the victim of seriously negative push polling. We never quite confirmed exactly who had done the push polling against us. But the damage may have already been done none-the-less. The funniest part of the whole ordeal was that the wife of my candidate was still registered to vote under her maiden name and actually received one of these calls. Being politically savvy as she was, she took a lot of notes, and our campaign was able to a big deal of it.

Out of all of my theories on this, I'd discount Giuliani as culprit the most. He has the most to lose. And although, I see a lot of distain from John McCain toward Mitt Romney, I'd probably discount him second most. McCain doesn't seem to be at all opposed to attacking Mitt Romney himself, so I don’t think that he would see any need to do it in an underhanded manner. Fred Thompson might have been involved in it without even knowing it. Doesn't his wife just run his campaign however she wants anyway? Plus, since Thompson can't recall which pro-abortion groups he may have worked for in the past, he may not have any idea who's working for him either or what they are doing. So, I'll give Thompson the pass for being ignorant. Mike Huckabee is much more likely. And some of his jabs have seemed somewhat anti-Mormon to me. Or at least, he seems willing to do or say things that attempt to openly point out things that might be construed as divides between evangelicals and Mormons. The most likely culprit though, I believe could easily be an anti-Romney 527 or any anti-Mormon group that has a substantial amount of money. This could include groups led by Sandra Tanner or any other foaming-at-the-mouth anti-Mormons or possibly some other "Christian" group that is petrified at the thought of a Mormon in the White House. These anti-Mormon individuals and groups might think of political on a different level than the ABCs (Anybody But the Clintons). These people might be thinking ABMs (Anybody But Mormons).

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