"If You Learned That The Candidate Was a Jerk, Would You Vote for Him? Please Press 3."

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Oct. 17 2011 2:55 PM

"If You Learned That The Candidate Was a Jerk, Would You Vote for Him? Please Press 3."

Barring some Biblical event or an unfortunately timed sexting scandal, Gov. Steve Beshear is going to be re-elected governor of Kentucky in two weeks. It'll be a needed boost for Democrats, who were cheered (for purely partisan reasons) when they held onto the top job in West Virginia this month. Beshear has followed the old outspend-the-hell-out-of-the-challenger plan; Republican David Williams has never gotten any traction.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

Cue: A hiliariously inept push poll, scooped by the Leo Weekly. Among the "questions":

An official in the Beshear administration admitting to using government equipment to get political contributions from state contractors and lobbyists for Beshear's re-election. Kentucky's code of ethics forbids use of this equipment for political activity. Does this make you more or less likely to support him?
Recent news reports have exagerrated the number of jobs created during his term. In fact, some of these jobs don't exist. Does this make you more or less likely to support him?
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Who did it? One question cites the Williams endorsement handed down by Kentucky Right to Life. They have nothing to do with this.

"I wish we had the money to do an ad," said Mike Janocik, assistant director of KRTL, "but like many people, we don't have the discretionary income right now."

Some advice: If you're going to do a push poll in the internet age, you will be caught. So make it fun! Ask if the voter would be worried to learn that the other candidate illegally downloads videos of kittens getting crushed by cement mixers! What about a candidate who waits outside of a day care center in an unmarked fan, dangling candy to trap them into trips toward an illicit cuddle dungeon?

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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