We Ask America

Hannah Meisel/WUIS

This story first ran in the October 2014 edition of Illinois Issues magazine.

Political Dark Arts - The Pollsters

Sep 4, 2014

If political campaigns are horse races—then consider public opinion polls one way to set the odds.But campaigns create and use polls for much more than the neck-and-neck numbers you hear on the news. As part of our series on the ‘dark arts’ of politics,  Alex Keefe explains:

AMBI: (phone rings)

Maybe you’ve already gotten one of these calls this election season.

TAPE: Hello, this is a short political poll...(fade under)...

It’s your chance to weigh in.

  The Republican race is heating up as the March 18 election nears, but Gov. Pat Quinn faces only nominal primary opposition. He's likely safe for now, but a new poll shows Quinn could have trouble holding onto his seat come the general election.

"The Walking Dread." That's the headline "We Ask America" used on its website to announce the results of its latest Illinois poll, a brief survey of just over 1,100 likely Democratic voters. As in, probable members of Quinn's own party.