Who is robo-polling Tulsa Republicans?

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Republican voters are being overwhelmed with automated polling calls about the Tulsa mayor's race, according to complaints received by the Tulsa County Republican headquarters. Who is responsible? Chris Medlock says it isn't his campaign:

Former two term City Councilman and Conservative Radio Talk Show Host Chris Medlock states that neither he, his campaign, or any person or firm associated with his campaign is running the annoying computer calls to Republican voters in Tulsa. For the past three weeks voters of Tulsa have been complaining to the Medlock for Mayor campaign, as well as the Tulsa Republican Party, about receiving up to ten calls a day, every day, from a computer asking who they will be voting for in the Republican Party primary for Mayor on September 8. Voters are given four choices including Dewey Bartlett, Jr. and Chris Medlock.

Medlock stated, "Tulsa Republican voters are justifiably angry at the annoying and repetitive use of Robo-Polling. One of my Republican opponents has spent at least $30,000 with out-of-state paid consultants which irritate voters. They should do like my campaign and rely on volunteers from right here in Tulsa County to get their message out. The harassment of Republican voters by one campaign can only hurt our party's image, and as the unquestionable conservative Republican in this race I will defend their right to privacy."

I'm told that the other two candidates mentioned in the poll are Anna Falling and Norris Streetman. Dewey Bartlett, Jr., is likely the only candidate with the money to fund such frequent and persistent polling, but you'd think he could afford better advice on when and how often to poll. Perhaps the intent is to run an ongoing tracking poll.

I'm hoping that some polling firm will run a poll and release the results to the public. Without a runoff, it's going to be very important for voters to know which candidates actually stand a chance of winning. Maybe I'll run my own poll.


Tulsa County Republican Party chairman Sally Bell is very upset at the robo-polling and wants everyone to know that the county party is NOT doing the polling and that she is doing everything she can to find out who is responsible and to put a stop to it.

A friend who is one of the frequently robo-polled victims says the calls are coming from Columbus, Ohio.

A knowledgeable reader suggests that this is not a true poll, but a voter ID program -- an attempt to survey as many likely Republican voters as possible to determine which voter is supporting which candidate. Assuming that the calls are coming from the Bartlett campaign, what happens next depends on the answer you give:

Those who say they are voting for Bartlett will not be contacted again by the campaign unless it is for voter turnout. Maybe they will get a call about absentee voting, but more likely, they will be called the Monday before the election and asked if they need a ride to go to the polls.

Medlock/Falling/Streetman voters will get mail negative about their candidate of choice.

Undecided voters will get mail positive about Bartlett and will be continually recalled until they commit. And, if the campaign gets desperate enough, they will get negative mail about Medlock.

This reader suggests one other possibility: Likely Democratic nominee Tom Adelson is doing voter ID so that he can reach out to the losing candidates' supporters after the primary. I could see doing one such survey for such a purpose, but not surveying so many people so often for that reason.

As annoying as these calls are, I'd encourage you to say that you're undecided, and then email me at blog at batesline dot com, and let me know what kind of phone calls and mailers you're receiving from the campaigns.

As a general rule, I'd like to know as soon as you get any sort of contact from any of the campaigns or receive a poll or survey call in a hotly-contested race. Don't worry about pestering me, just email me at blog at batesline dot com. One friend who has worked on campaigns in the past takes detailed notes when a pollster calls and then sends them along to me. As a political nerd, I love that, and it helps me get a clearer picture of the state of the race.

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David S. Author Profile Page said:

The phone # from the Columbus call I got was 614-360-2984.
You get a recording saying the number is no longer in service but it doesn't sound real, maybe it's an Ohio thing

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on August 17, 2009 12:20 PM.

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