A mysterious conservative group is doing push polls trying to impugn the Democratic candidate.
ThinkProgress spoke with multiple individuals in South Carolina’s first congressional district who have received push polls from an unknown conservative group that only referred to itself as “SSI Polling”.
April Wolford, a middle-aged woman who has long been active in Democratic politics in the state, was one. At 12:55pm on February 25th, Wolford’s cell phone lit up with “Unavailable” on the caller ID screen. A young man without a discernible accent – “he certainly wasn’t from South Carolina,” she noted – said he was conducting a poll and began with general questions about the race. “But they quickly got slanted,” Wolford noted, “and they didn’t ask a single question about Sanford at all!”
As the conversation turned, she asked him where he was calling from. “SSI Polling,” he told her, but wouldn’t elaborate.
The questions they did ask ranged from outlandish smears to thinly-veiled Republican talking points. Here are some of the issues SSI brought up in various iterations of the push poll, according to those ThinkProgress spoke with:
- “What would you think of Elizabeth Colbert Busch if I told you she had had an abortion?”
- “What would you think of Elizabeth Colbert Busch if I told you a judge held her in contempt of court at her divorce proceedings?
- “What would you think of Elizabeth Colbert Busch if she had done jail time?”
- “What would you think of Elizabeth Colbert Busch if I told you she was caught running up a charge account bill?”
- “What would you think of Elizabeth Colbert Busch if she supported the failed stimulus plan?”
- “What would you think of Elizabeth Colbert Busch if I told you unions contributed to her campaign?”
After about a half dozen of these questions, Wolford began to challenge the caller for asking such absurd questions. He apologized, telling her, “ma’am, I’m just paid to ask questions.”