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Definition of Tactical Polling

by Dale Ray Mann
  • Overview

    Tactical polls are designed to attain positive numbers.
    Tactical, or push, polling is used to attain poll results that support a specific party or a party's position. These poll numbers are gotten by disseminating misleading information about rival parties or positions.
  • Criteria

    In politics, push polling is often a mass telephone campaign aimed at swaying voters. The issues and the voters are determined through extensive social scientific research.
    Tactical polls are often part of a structured telemarketing campaign.
  • Objective

    Under the guise of being legitimate opinion pollsters, surveyors introduce misleading information to voters about a rival position or party with a twofold agenda: to sway voters and to obtain desirable poll numbers that favor their party or position.
    Tactical polls use misleading information to pursuade voters.
  • Identifying the Issues

    Determining the key polling issues is a more complex task than simply asking voters. Pollsters rely on advanced research techniques to determine not only the argument but also, in some cases, the voter's position on the argument.
  • Causal Modeling

    Causal modeling is a sophisticated research analysis method by which polling criteria are ascertained. Causal modeling enables certain outcomes to be traced back to their root causes. Through causal modeling, the primary and supporting messages for key issues can be determined.
  • Warning

    Because they both rely on negative information about rival candidates, tactical polls and legitimate opinion polls regarding political races can often be indiscernible to uninformed voters, says Kathy Frankovic in a "CBS News" article.

    References & Resources