GOP Group Running Anti-Obama Push Poll

11/19/2008 04:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Sam Stein Senior Politics Editor, The Huffington Post

In recent days there have been multiple reports of a push poll being conducted against Barack Obama by a Republican group, raising claims about his "affiliations to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac" and supposed tax increase proposals. In one reported incident of what is believed to be the same push poll, a recipient was asked whether he knew that the Senator was a Muslim and had ties to Bill Ayers.

Several readers contacted the Huffington Post to say that they received these calls in the past few days, from an organization independent of the Republican National Committee or John McCain's presidential campaign.

Among the questions they were asked included whether or not they knew that "most of" Obama's campaign contributions had come from "Washington lobbyists" representing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. (Obama's presidential campaign does not take money from lobbyists. He has received the second largest amount of contributions of any member of Congress from employees of the two housing giants.) In addition, recipients were asked whether they knew that Obama would raise their taxes.

These respondents, as well as several posters on the website, reported that the company behind the call was the Virginia-based Americans In Contact PAC, a conservative group whose objective is "identifying and turning out to vote thousands of supporters of John McCain and Sarah Palin and of conservative candidates for other offices."

One recipient in the California bay area, however, said that he received questions far more inflammatory in nature. Yosem Companys, a doctoral student at Stanford University and an active Democrat, told the Huffington Post that during his push poll he had been asked whether he knew "that Obama is a Muslim" and "[his] affiliation to terrorist Bill Ayers and to the fraudulent voter registration organization Acorn."

Companys could not directly recall the name of the group behind the call, only that it was not affiliated with John McCain's campaign or the RNC. But the rest of the questions that he relayed aligned with the script of those reached by Americans In Contact.

UPDATE: An official with Americans in Contact says that the survey Company's reported was not theirs. And indeed, he provided a copy of the push poll for the Huffington Post, which asked solely about Obama's connections to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, his contributions from those organizations and his economic policies in general.

As always, if you have any tips or insight on this poll or others, let us know.