On the night of July 9, I received a “brief, nonpartisan” opinion survey call. It took half an hour.

The first half seemed neutral and nonpartisan. It asked my opinions on candidates and issues with little discernible preference in the wording.

The second half was not as neutral and removed all question of partisanship.

First there was a long series of statements about what GOP gubernatorial candidate, Shawn Moody did not support, all negative, including his climate change denial and support of President Donald Trump. Each was followed by asking if I thought this would be a reason to vote against him.

Then there was a similarly lengthy series of statements about Janet Mills’ support of all things good for Maine, including her opposition to Trump and Gov. Paul LePage. Each was followed by asking if I though that would be a good reason to vote for her. This ended any questions about the impartiality of the “survey.”

Halfway through the survey I said that if all the rest of the questions were of the same nature I would just as soon skip wasting time on them. The caller insisted he was almost finished and went on with another dozen positive statement questions about Mills.

I’m not quite annoyed enough to change my vote. But I resent this type of time wasting “survey” where the caller already knew my liberal preference from the first set of questions. I doubt GOP voters would stay on the line through all the Mills-favoring statements, so would not be convinced to switch sides by those slanted questions, be they true and fair or not.

There must be a more effective way to spend campaign time and dollars to sway voters without antagonizing them.

Harvey Versteeg


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