GOP group behind negative Obama poll

Discussion in 'Politics' started by ZZZzzzzzzz, Sep 17, 2008.

  1. The poll asked voters their response to negative statements about Barack Obama, including reported praise for him from a leader of the Palestinian terror group Hamas.
    Photo: AP

    A Republican group is taking responsibility for a poll that has roiled the Jewish community by asking sharply negative questions about Senator Barack Obama.

    The Republican Jewish Coalition, which is launching a campaign against Obama on behalf of Senator John McCain, sponsored the poll to "understand why Barack Obama continues to have a problem among Jewish voters," the group's executive director, Matt Brooks, told Politico.

    The poll asked voters their response to negative statements about Obama, including reported praise for him from a leader of the Palestinian terror group Hamas and a friendship early in his career with a pro-Palestinian university professor. Some Jewish Democrats who received the poll – including a New Republic writer who lives in Michigan – were outraged by the poll, describing it in interviews as "ugly" and disturbing. A group that supports Obama, the Jewish Council for Education and Research even staged a protest outside the Manhattan call center from which the calls originated Tuesday.

    "If the RJC is responsible for these calls, which are designed to frighten Jews and sow mistrust, they have forfeited their place at the Jewish table," said the co-executive director of the group, Mik Moore. "It is incumbent upon the McCain campaign to speak out forcefully against this and ongoing efforts by his supporters to scare Jews into supporting his candidacy."

    Brooks, however, denied that the poll was meant to influence Jewish voters, and said it was a traditional poll meant to gauge the opinions of Jewish voters.

    "What we did is test, in standard polling methodology, a number of factual issues that have been reported on in the press and are policy positions to see how they're resonating in the Jewish community," said Brooks. "The notion that this is a 'push poll' is offensive to us."

    Brooks said the RJC, whose board includes advisors and fundraisers for Senator John McCain, had placed 750 calls to Jewish voters in five states: Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. He accused the protesters of "intimidation."

    Mark Blumenthal, editor of the website, said the form of the poll, and its length of 15 minutes, made it more likely to be a traditional "message testing" survey than a "push poll," in which brief calls are made to deliver a message and the caller typically has no interest in the results. He added, however, that in some cases a pollster might anticipate—and welcome—the possibility that negative questions would draw media attention and, indirectly, amplify the pointed statements.

    Certainly, they have drawn attention: After first reporting on two voters who were polled, Politico was contacted by a half-dozen more, and many Jewish Obama backers are livid at the survey.

    "The fact that the Republican Jewish Coalition is targeting Jewish Americans with these disgraceful and deceitful tactics fits in perfectly with the dishonorable campaign that John McCain has chosen to run. Peddling lies and hateful distortions to scare Jewish voters is reprehensible and deeply disrespectful to Jewish Americans," said Florida Congressman Robert Wexler, an Obama supporter.

    The poll may not itself have been aimed at delivering a single message, but it does point to the group's possible lines of attack on Obama in the heated battle for Jewish votes. John McCain's hawkish, pro-Israel credentials, and nervousness in the Jewish community over both Obama's promise of diplomacy with Iran and the false rumors that he is a Muslim and hostile to Israel had produced polls over the summer that showed Obama winning about two thirds of the Jewish vote. That's a substantial margin, but a narrower one than Al Gore and John Kerry took, and a worrisome issue for the Democrats, particularly in Florida.
  2. Yannis



    There are those who think that all Jewish Americans should be voting for the Democrats, which, of course, is preposterous.

    Same thing is happening among American blacks: if you listen to Al Sharmpton and Jesse Jackson, you'd think that black Republicans are traitors of their race and worse. I have several Jewish friends who plan to vote for McCain and don't care if others disagree or try to ostracize them in many ways.

    That's how democracy should function: no stereotypes, no mandatory groupthink, no intimidation.
  3. Which is why the Republicans are attacking based on misinformation and stereotypes. Oh wait...
  4. Yannis


    They both do that at this point of the election cycle, no matter what they promise, they all turn negative. Every time. And the loser complains the most.

    McCain wanted to keep the dirt out but after the vicious, disgusting attacks on Palin the last few weeks (still continuing) he seems to have given up. Most likely the other side has their own stories about that, but I don't care any more. I try to look at the issues and let the dogs fight it out.

    It all boils down to individual responsibility: if this is what most people want, if anonymous surveys and blind focus groups confirm that negativity gets the attention of the electorate more than positivity, no matter what they all pretend to want, the campaign staffs will certainly oblige. There's more to come.
  5. I don't see why anyone would want to manipulate poll numbers - well, maybe to boost the energy of a sagging campaign.

    People are going to vote the way they're going to vote. Maybe 3% of people are undecided, in reality, at this time.
  6. Brandonf

    Brandonf ET Sponsor

    why is it not racist for 90% of African American's to be voting for Obama, but if a white person does not want to vote for him they are a terrible relic of the past?
  7. Yannis


    For many, it definitely is, but a great number of white Americans have been indoctrinated in this continuous message of guilt by the media and the schools and are reluctant to complain about it.

    On the other hand, some black Americans are voting for the black candidate the way Irish or Jewish Americans would want to support their guy, etc... no harm done, imo, especially since we know that there will be prejudiced people who will not vote for them just because they are black or Irish or Jewish.

    At any rate, from what we have seen, read and heard, I would classify Obama's "church" as definitely racist - and he and his wife both stayed in there and participated enthusiastically (from what he wrote in his book) for 20 years! Oh well.
  8. Yannis


    IMAO: Obama Is Okay with Us

    "Look at what Obama said:

    "The one thing that I want to insist on is that, as I travel around the country, the American people are a decent people. Now they get confused sometimes. You know, they listen to the wrong talk radio shows or watch the wrong TV networks, um, but they’re, they’re basically decent, they’re basically sound."

    See, Obama doesn't hate America and Americans. It sounds like he downright tolerates us and our stupidity. Doesn't that make you feel warm inside? Let's give him the nuclear passcodes!"

    :) :) :)
  9. You're right, Yannis. Obama hates America. I mean, it's so obvious. He points out that there are people that are confused (and maybe even stupid, whom live among us).

    Everyone - vote for McCain. He loves America, unlike Obama.

  10. Yannis


    "...who live among us..." Sorry, I couldn't resist... :) :) :)
    #10     Sep 17, 2008