Diary

Democrats Try to Influence West Virginians with Push Polls

Democrats have tried to accuse Republicans in West Virginia of doing push polls, but it turns out that Democrat operatives in Washington, D.C. are using push polls in the hope of keeping the statehouse from going red.

Earlier this month Democrats accused Republicans of using push polls to influence races in the West Virginia Senate and House of Delegates. State Democratic Party Chairman Larry Puccio caucused with House and Senate Dems during legislative interim meetings to discuss the issue.

Wikipedia defines push polling as a type of poll where “an individual or organization attempts to influence or alter the view of respondents under the guise of conducting a poll.” Democrats tried to accuse Republicans of using push polls, but the polls were so vague that it could be negative for either Dem or GOP.

This time, a caller recorded a push poll that went out of its way to paint the GOP candidate in a bad light in order to get a negative polling result.

This push poll focused on the West Virginia House of Delegates 3rd District. The incumbant is Republican Erika Storch. Democrat-turned-Republican Delegate Ryan Ferns is running for state Senate. The Democrat challengers are Shawn Fluharty and Holli Smith. The Republican looking to replace Ferns in the House is Dolph Santorine.

Recently voters in the 3rd House District received a push poll conducted by Clarity Campaign Labs, a Liberal/Progressive polling group, and on behalf of Protect West Virginia, a political committee registered with the state Secretary of State’s office. Elizabeth Gramling of the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee helped set up Protect West Virginia.

You can listen to the full push poll below, which starts off like a normal poll, but then proceeds to push negative questions against Santorine designed to make the voters choose negative answers.

Back with me? Good.

Democrats in the state could try to distance themselves before, but this is pretty blatant. The poll ends with a recorded message saying the poll was done by Campaign Clarity Labs for Protect WV. The papers filed for Protect WV were done by treasurer Elizabeth Gramling, who is also the COO for the DLCC. Fingerprints never lie.

These kinds of tactics show that Democrats even on the national level see that West Virginia’s House of Delegate is going to become a Republican majority for the first time in 83 years. The Senate will also get closer to a Republican majority in the Senate.