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Conservatives using telephone push-polling as well?

So we all know about the Conservatives “Just Visiting” attack ads, which have been going on for a couple of weeks now on TV, and which I’m guessing probably is a several million $ ad buy. However, if what was said at Canadian Rosebud is accurate, then the Conservatives are also engaging in telephone push-polling as well:

My spouse got polled Sunday from an unfamiliar agency. Among the questions asked were:

    Michael Ignatieff will return to teach at Harvard if he doesn’t win the next election – how do you feel about that? The man also asked: The current advertising about Michael Ignatieff ‘Just Visiting’ talks about his recent return to Canada – How has it affected your opinion of him?
    Michael Ignatieff was a supporter of the coalition – are you more, less or undecided on if you support the coalition?
    Michael Ignatieff has said he would raise the GST if elected – are you more, less or undecided likely to vote Liberal knowing this?
    Michael Ignatieff proposed the Green Shift first – does that affect your opinion of him positively, negatively or undecided?
    Which party is the one you feel can deliver on the following issues: getting tough on crime; dealing with the economy; and protecting Canada’s place in the world? Which statement is closer to your opinion: To get Canada on track we need a Conservative majority; or, to get Canada on track we need a coalition government?

…..

There were more questions, she said it took about 10 minutes and the man asking the questions would not say who had commissioned the poll. It’s fairly obvious to me who commissioned it, and for what purpose.

So, if this is a microcosm of what went on elsewhere across the country, the Conservatives are attempting to find out how their ads are working, and while doing so, are asking heavily loaded “push poll” type questions to try and influence the people they’re calling. As of this moment, the initial reaction out appears to show – at least from this pollster – these ads are a double-edged sword for the Conservative Harper government.

I also muse that if Angus-Reid is correct in saying that those folks that saw the Ignatieff Youtube rebuttal/response to had a very positive response to Iggy’s message, it might be time for the Liberal strategists to consider whether they shouldn’t get his message out to more Canadians, even if that means spending some dough to do so. The counter to that of course is that if the ads are effecting Harper’s popularity as well, then best for the Liberals to hold their fire, absorb the attacks, and wait til the election campaign. That strategy did not work when Dion was leader however, so there is risk involved in that move too – even if less expensive.

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