Friend of Swampland Mark Blumenthal takes a look at another set of possible “push polls” in Iowa. And while he decides that it’s almost impossible to tell who’s behind them, their existence does tell us something about the race:
The first is about the blurring of the lines between traditional polling and telemarketing. Campaigns have for many years used paid call centers to conduct “voter ID” calls, that is, calls intended to identify supporters and those still undecided. Increasingly, those calls have grown to resemble polls. However, the use of such calls to test negative messages is something new in my experience.
And second, whatever the nature of these calls, I think we can also conclude something about what they portend. Political commentators, including yours truly, have been speculating about when the Democratic television advertising will turn negative in Iowa and New Hampshire. At this point, for a variety of reasons, such a turns seems unlikely. However, these calls tell us a very well targeted negative mail campaign is imminent from someone, or more likely, several someones. Those looking to cover “Act III” of the Iowa campaign would be well advised to watch the mailboxes of Iowa voters.