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Both parties do agree: It wasn’t a “push poll”

Republican Jewish Coalition executive director Matt Brooks says there was nothing wrong with it, Jewish Democrats say it was full of distortions and half-truths. But everyone does seem to agree on one thing regarding the RJC’s controversial survey which tested negative Barack Obama messages over the weekend: It was not a “push poll.”

Confirming what others had already pointed out, Democratic pollster Mark Mellman told JTA the RJC survey “doesn’t meet the definition of a push poll” because of its large number of questions – 82, according to the RJC.

A push poll, say pollsters, is not really a poll at all, but a brief call intended solely to impart negative information via the form of a poll.

Republican pollster Neil Newhouse agreed with Mellman. He told JTA a true “push poll” would go to tens or hundreds of thousands of voters, while the RJC says it only spoke to 750 Jews in five swing states. He said the message testing that the RJC says it was doing in the poll is something all pollsters do.

Even Mik Moore, who as founder of Jewsvote.org first brought the poll to public attention, said he was willing to concede that the RJC survey did not meet the definition of a “push poll,” but said it had “the effect” of a “push poll” because it upset people by spreading negative information about a candidate.

Brooks also said he objected to the characterization of the poll as a “negative Obama poll,” arguing that the questions dealing with the Democratic presidential candidate were “less than 10 percent” of the survey.

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