Last fall, I can’t recall a single call I received for the fall gubernatorial campaign, only recall being phonebanked for one race. These past few weeks, hardly a day has gone by that I haven’t received a phone call on behalf of the various candidates running for West Hollywood City Council.
I have been polled at least two times for the City Council race and twice for the campaign on Measure A, with each of the polls on said measure taking more than five minutes. They offered me various hypotheticals, such as if you learned that this measure would raise 47 quadrillion dollars for the city, would you support it. I kept responding, this is all well and good, but I plan to read the measure and if I find it places unnecessary limits our freedom or taxes individuals or employers too much, I’ll probably vote against it.
I began to wonder how accurate polls which ask such questions could be. I was eager to end the call and knew I wouldn’t make my mind up on the measure until I had read it. Given that most people have busy lives, they too are eager to end the calls. Not just that, their minds may become distracted as the polling drags on.
As for the city council polling, well, that would likely be a bit more accurate. I say that I was polled at least two times instead of three because I believe the first call may not have been a poll per se, but merely a call from the three incumbents running as a team to determine if I were voting for them. Had they learned of my support, they would have kept me on their list so as to remind me to vote when Election Day rolls ’round.
And some of the phonebanking has been just inane. Robocalls with messages lasting longer than a minute have been left on my answering machine. When one man called on behalf of one of the challenger, he started reading his script, but I interrupted him, asking him about his candidate’s stand on the city’s meddlesome policies toward small business, policies which are causing entrepreneurs to look elsewhere to set up shop. He replied from his script. When I expressed my concerns about the burdens of increased government regulation at the federal, state and local level, he politely ended the call. And I crossed his candidate off my list.
I have made up my mind for two of my three votes, with the second endorsement coming a bit later tonight (to be posted early Thursday morning). Well, actually, the second endorsement reflects the first candidate I decided to support.
Indeed, until last Friday, I was only sure that I would be voting for that one man. When I was first polled on the race, the woman conducting the survey asked which candidate would be my first choice. I replied with this man’s name, then she told me she had to read the names of all the candidates. I told her I didn’t have time, so she politely said my response wouldn’t be valid unless she could read the entire list. Having other things to do, I ended the conversation.
The next time I was polled, the next day actually, I offered my candidate’s name before the man could read the list. I guess he considered that valid because he went on to ask me about my other voters. I merely replied, having then not yet met Mito, that I was undecided and inclined to vote against the incumbents.
All this said, I’m wondering just how much impact all these calls are having. It is rare for me to be undecided this close to an election (I last felt this way during the 2008 GOP presidential primary after my man Rudy dropped out). And I still haven’t have selected a third candidate.
So far, the calls have only turned me off. You’ll soon learn who was the first candidate to earn my support. But, I have yet to determine the third. And it doesn’t seem like the intense efforts some of the candidates are making with their phonebanking will have the desired effect.