Friday, August 6, 2010

Anti-Lankford 'Push Poll' Calls 'Amateurish'

What appears to be an unorganized, sporadic "push poll" effort aimed at undermining support for 5th District Republican James Lankford continues, The McCarville Report Online has been told.

The infrequent calls, conducted in less than a professional manner based on the opinions of those who've received them, appear to be concentrated in northwest Oklahoma City. The calls, TMRO has been told, began about two weeks ago. One recipient of a call described it as "amateurish."

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The male caller asks the voter if he or she is aware that Lankford supported the MAPs3 initiative in Oklahoma City and inquires about the voter's awareness of what is claimed to be Lankford's reluctance to speak out against the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

Lankford is the target of an anonymous anti-Muslim blog that is an ardent supporter of Calvey and regularly criticizes Lankford. The blog's author is not identified and his conclusions about the "connections" he or she sees in politics border on the bizarre.

The blog's author, using a made-up name, has posted at least two contentious letters on Lankford's Facebook page; both were removed within minutes of their appearance.

Calvey spokesman Trebor Worthen said, "We didn't do (institute the calls), and haven't done any push polling. We won't be doing any push polling in the future, either. As for the blog you referenced, we don't have any control over them or any other blog. Some blogs like Kevin, some blogs like Mr. Lankford, and some just report on general interest items about the race. But regardless of what blog it is, or what their candidate preference is, we don't control their content."

The winner of the Calvey-Lankford runoff will face Democrat Billy Coyle and Independents Clarke Duffe and Dave White in the general election. White has said the calls did not come from his campaign.

Push polls and robo-calls have been sources of controversy in the past, especially in Republican races for Congress in the 5th District, with outsiders responsible.

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