Wamp accuses Haslam of push polling

Wamp accuses Haslam of push polling

April 24th, 2010 by Andy Sher in Politics State

NASHVILLE -- Republican gubernatorial hopeful Zach Wamp on Friday accused GOP rival Bill Haslam of conducting "unethical, negative push polling" against him.

The message, sent on in a Twitter, later followed up with a Wamp campaign news release demanding the Haslam campaign stop the effort.

The release also asked Mr. Haslam to "personally explain why his campaign has resorted to such calls, to identify the name of the vendor who was hired to make the calls and to fully disclose how much the vendor was paid."

"It's shameful that Bill Haslam, who's already spent millions of dollars on television commercials but has yet to utter a single word himself on camera about his plans for Tennessee, resorts to such lavishly expensive and unethical campaign tactics to attack his opponents," Wamp campaign spokesman Sam Edelen said.

The Haslam campaign rebutted Wamp's claim that it did a push poll.

"We're sorry the congressman is bothered by our voter-ID survey and doesn't know the difference between that and a push poll," said Haslam campaign spokesman David Smith. "Sure he'd like for us to reveal our strategy, but that's not going to happen. It's a data survey only."

According to the American Association of Political Consultants, there are readily identifiable differences between a legitimate poll and a push poll.

In a legitimate poll, the surveyor generally identifies whom he works for and seeks demographic information from the respondent. The process involves up to 1,000 people for a statewide race and can take five to 30 minutes.

A push poll is often a 30- to 60-second mass telemarketing effort in which calls are "aimed at voter persuasion" and "dishonestly presented as surveys of public opinion," the association states.

Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, R-Blountville, also is running in the GOP primary for governor.