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.
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
--jobs and the economy.
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
Then I was asked my impression of the following public figures, four of them rivals in the Congressional race:
--Major Owens (the exiting incumbent)
--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.
The final questions were demographic:
--last grade of school completed
--liberal, conservative, or moderate
--own or rent
--from a West Indian or Caribbean background
--Latino or Spanish-speaking
--white, black, Asian
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.