An Interesting Call About the Senate Race
People I know are always complaining that they never get called by pollsters. I haven’t gotten called since I got a push-poll call in 2006 asking me if I thought Ohio would benefit from a “strong black governor.” (Sure, but not Ken Blackwell).
I got a call last week. But I don’t think it was a polling firm looking for hard numbers because the woman on the line didn’t ask for any demographic information.
But when she asked if I would answer a few questions about Ohio’s U.S. Senate race, I said, “HELL yeah.” In fact, I think I startled her with the depth of my knowledge about this race, giving her much more complete answers than I suspect she was looking for.
Her first question was whether I knew which of the following if any Josh Mandel said he favored cutting: Social Security, Medicare, or Pell funding for college students.
My response was that while he evaded saying exactly where he stood so he hadn’t been direct about any cuts he might favor, he supported and was supported by officeholders like Paul Ryan who favored cutting them all.
She also asked,
“Which of these things do you remember Josh Mandel being accused of:
A. using tax dollars to campaign
B. hiring college friends in his office
C. losing public records.
My answer: “Although he’s technically guilty of A since he campaigns on taxpayer time, he hasn’t been widely accused of it in the media. It was former Secretary of State Ken Blackwell who did C. Mandel hasn’t done that — that we KNOW of. The answer is B, and I can name some of those more than half dozen unqualified cronies he’s hired for top positions in his office, if you like.”
She asked if I was aware of any online ads about Mandel as a politician. I told her I’d probably seen some but since I had about as much chance of flying to the moon as voting for Mandel, I really wasn’t paying attention. But that tipped me off to who might be behind the call and what it was about.
The very next day I started to see — or became aware of — a barrage of online anti-Mandel ads from Sherrod Brown’s campaign at practically every website I visited, dubbing Mandel “a politician you can’t trust.” (DUH.) That led me to think the call was from Sherrod Brown’s campaign, perhaps with the dual purpose of trying to gin up Mandel’s negatives (good!) and seeing whether these ads were making any impression. Oddly, a friend of mine who not only is not registered to vote but isn’t a citizen yet also got this call, so clearly the call list is not being vetted against voter rolls.
The funniest part was at the conclusion of the call, after I had finished giving the pollster my frank thoughts in Mandel as a “politician.” She said, “I’ve been doing this for two days, and I think Mr. Brown is going to win.” That told me she’d been getting similar feedback from a lot of people.
I think Mr. Brown is going to win too. But we really need to put away the Mandel campaign — as I said previously, not just because Mandel is a terrible candidate but because we need to repudiate the tactics he’s using — the lies used in service of personal destruction.