Monday, September 04, 2006

Pacific Crest Research is back, asking about the Congressional race

Would you believe that today, about a month after I was push-polled, I got another call from Pacific Crest Research, a “national polling firm,” according to the young woman from Utah on the phone, conducting “a very brief public opinion survey on some very interesting issues in Brooklyn.”

This one wasn’t a push-poll, since there was no attempt to present new information and sway me about a candidate or an issue. But the topic was mainly the highly contested 11th Congressional District race and again the signs point to developer Forest City Ratner as the entity concerned enough to ask such questions.

Top issues

After being asked if I’d vote in the Democratic primary, I was asked if things were going in the right direction or off on the wrong track. Then I was asked which of the following six issues was most important:
--the war in Iraq
--affordable housing
--health care
--jobs and the economy.

AY opinions

Then I was asked my opinion about “a major development project known as Atlantic Yards,” with a sports arena as the “centerpiece,” and “a number of high-rise apartments” around it. (Actually, it’s not the centerpiece, and there would be 16 towers.)
Strongly favor, somewhat favor, somewhat oppose, strongly oppose

Political figures

Then I was asked my impression of the following public figures, four of them rivals in the Congressional race:
--Chris Owens
--Carl Andrews
--Yvette Clarke
--Major Owens (the exiting incumbent)
--David Yassky
--Marty Markowitz (Brooklyn Borough president)

Then I was asked whom I’d vote for and the chances I might change my mind and vote for another candidate.

Demographic questions

The final questions were demographic:
--last grade of school completed
--liberal, conservative, or moderate
--own or rent
--religious background
--from a West Indian or Caribbean background
--Latino or Spanish-speaking
--white, black, Asian
--total income

So what’s the goal?

Is Forest City Ratner trying to figure out how to influence the Congressional race? Or is the developer trying to gauge the attitude of the supporters of various candidates so as to respond after the election? Or could it be some other patron altogether?

I asked a supervisor who’d commissioned the poll. He said staffers aren’t told, and that only the president of the Pacific Crest Research knows. His name is Matt Hewitt.


  1. Hi,
    I just had a phone call from "Pacific Crest Research" who wanted to know if I was a teacher, was I memeber of the teacher's union, did I vote the recent election and did my candidate win. But the kiddo asking the questions could not tell me what the purpose of the survey was nor how it would be used. What does Pacific Crest Research want in Maine?

  2. Is this polling by Pacific Crest Research legal? They called today 11/12/06 to ask whom I had voted for.

  3. Hi i am actually a caller from pacific crest research.Why would you think this wasn't legal? Did We try and sell you anything? NO. Did we ask you for money? NO. And the reason we could not tell you the reason for the survey is because we are not given that information. We dont even know who is funding the project because think about it that would bias the whole thing. these surveys are very scientifically proven tools that are used only to show what YOU the people want more or less of. we are pretty much doing you a favor.

  4. They ARE BACK! Just got a call from them today!