Tuesday, January 22, 2008

"Anti-Obama push-polling alleged in South Carolina"

CNN's Political Ticker:
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina – Supporters of Barack Obama in South Carolina said Monday that in the past day, black voters across the state have received biased polling phone calls, sometimes known as “push polls,” which they say are favorable to Hillary Clinton and distort Obama’s record.

Columbia city councilwoman Tamika Isaac Devine, an Obama supporter, said she received such a phone call Sunday night.

“[The caller] asked for the female in the household,” she told CNN, “then they asked my race.” Devine said the caller then launched into a series of positive statements about Clinton and negative statements about Obama, asking how each one affected her vote.

That included a direct comparison of Obama to President Bush. “They said that Barack Obama doesn’t want to be an operational president,” Devine recounted, “and they said he doesn’t want to manage things well, like George W. Bush.”

She said the calls also played on perceived African-American dislike of former President Ronald Reagan and Obama’s recent remarks about Reagan. “They asked, ‘Would you be more willing to vote for a candidate that thinks Ronald Reagan was a more transforming president than Bill Clinton?”

This comes after Obama told a newspaper that, “Reagan changed the trajectory of America in a way that Richard Nixon did not and in a way that Bill Clinton did not.”

On Saturday, the campaign sent reporters what it said was a recording of a Nevada robo-call received by a supporter, in which the caller repeatedly emphasized Obama’s middle name, Hussein, and said the senator lied when he said he did not take money from special interest groups and lobbyists.

State Rep. Todd Rutherford, an Obama supporter, said Monday the South Carolina campaign was receiving reports of similar calls.

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