It opined the absence of a progressive influence on the questions pollsters ask. I wrote:
Progressives cannot depend upon the resources of the democratic party to do the job that centrist, Republican look-alike democrats have been unable or unwilling to accomplish. Progressives must build their own progressive political infrastructure. We don 't have to do it through one organization. That 's not the way progressives function. But it can and should be done by coordinating the resources of the hundreds, if not thousands of local and national progressive organizations that have emerged and developed outside of the democratic party....
...It 's a shame that the vast majority of pollsters work based on getting gigs from corporations and the two dinosaur parties on the right--- republicans and centrist democrats.. If there were a honest to goodness progressive polling organization, or possibly even if there were funds to pay the main polling organizations, things could be very different.
We 've seen how a single payment for a poll on the impeachability of president Bush drew significant coverage, at least in the blogosphere. The mainstream media may not have covered as much as we would have liked, but I am sure that the legislators in DC paid attention.
Here in Pennsylvania, they keep polling for the coming Senate race for the seat now held by Rick Santorum. But they only poll to see how Santorum would do against the darling of the DLC insiders --Bob Casey, jr. They ignore grassroots candidate Chuck Pennacchio, even though in every blogosphere poll, Pennacchio has been able to win by recruiting more grassroots support. We know that Casey is polling 16 points higher than Santorum. Be we don 't know how well Pennacchio would do against Santorum, or how he is looking against Casey. This is the biggest, most watched race that will be happening in the nation next year. Yet all the polling organizations are ignoring what could be a totally viable candidate who is the only one who supports women 's rights to abortion and embryonic stem cell research. The pollsters are hurting the democratic process here and helping keep the whole race loaded to the right.
Let 's look at the Alito nomination. If pollsters went to work in blue states with Republican senators, and in red states with democratic, moderate senators and showed that voters opposed Alito, based, for example, on his opposition to Roe v. Wade, that could make a huge difference. Why don 't the democrats and others on the left pony up the money for such polls? How much could it cost to run such polls in every state, a million, two million, five million dollars? This should be a no brainer. One adverse ruling could be devastating to attorneys, doctors, pharmaceutical companies, homeowners. Of course, the same is true, the other way, for big corporations. They could save billions on a few key Supreme court decisions. NOW is the time to be investing big time in polling to show legislators what their constituents want.
If the left had progressive pollsters, it would b so much easier to identify the best candidates to run against incumbent Republicans and sell-out centrist Democrats.
The costs may not be nearly as high as I 've guessed.
Well OpEdNews is putting its money where its mouth is. The Zogby Organization has begun and is in the process of implementing a poll commissioned by OpEdNews that will be complete on Friday, January 27. It will be an OpEdNews/Zogby Poll. It was designed with the goal of making real some of the visions I described last November. The idea was to ask questions that progressives would want answers to that mainstream media, the ones owned by billion dollar corporations wouldn't ask. The goal was to ask questions that state polling orgs, supposedly non-partisan and some even non-profit should have been asking but failed to ask.
Tomorrow, OpEdNews will announce the results of what we believe to be the first full poll sponsored by a Progressive/Liberal media website, possibly, the first done by any progressive website, which is performed by one of the top national polling organizations. It will include over 50 questions, covering paper ballots, Alito, impeachment, privatization of voting technology and records, single payor health care and the first real poll to ask the right questions on all the candidates in the Santorum Senate race-- over 40 questions in all.
We think this will be the first full poll commissioned by a progressive media site and perhaps even by a progressive web site period, in which a complete poll is designed by the progressive organization and carried out by a polling organization of national stature. (If we're wrong on our claim, one goal of this preliminary article is to solicit corrections on the claim.)
One of the reasons we went with Zogby was because we wanted to get real information, not just another internet poll. We wanted to see the stats when a professional, non-partisan pollster did the polling and helped in the design of the questions, so they would not be skewed to set up answers. The Zogby company 's position is that Zogby is a public opinion research company, not a progressive nor a conservative pollster. They do not advocate. They do work for clients who hire them, regardless of their political persuasion, and they provide the clients with objective data that may or may not benefit their cause. A Zogby spokesman made it clear to me, "We do not skew results to fit the desires of our clients. " And that 's what OpEdNews wants. The truth.
We are hoping this will be the first of many and that, just as Bob Fertik and David Swanson of Democrats.com and afterdowningstreet.org and impeachPAC got things rolling by having a few questions on impeachment piggybacked onto existing polls, our Progressive poll will inspire other media and non-profit organizations to take the leap. We hope that just as we asked our readers and writer contributors to suggest questions for our poll, the mainstream media will begin inviting and using poll question suggestions from their readers.
We could use your help. Let all the media outlets you have emails or fax or phone numbers for know about the poll and tell them to cover it. We'd like to see the networks cover it as political news or as blogger news, so, if you know any ways to reach the anchors who handle those beats, please contact them. Tell them they should cover a real poll that was done independently of any billion dollar corporation or a specific campaign or party. While OpEdNews leans left, we criticize both Republicans and Democrats.
The poll will give some results for the Santorum Senate race that no pollster has touched before-- how Santorum will do against Casey and his democratic opponents when respondents know where they stand on half a dozen issues.
Check in tomorrow, Friday, Feb 27, and be a part of history in the making.