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Thursday, February 16, 2006

 
Push Polling For The Wright Amendment

Got a call from some outfit conducting a poll on the Wright Amendment, the federal law that restricts flights from Dallas Love Field to certain states, granting DFW International Airport a monopoly on the majority of air travel to and from Dallas/Fort Worth.

A lot of the questions were of the sort one might find on a neutral poll, such as how one feels about the area's two major airlines conducting major lobbying campaigns (isn't it okay for everybody?) or how much one trusts the information coming out of Southwest Airlines, American Airlines, or several local organizations involved in the War on the Wright Amendment (answerable only by kneejerk bigots or by those intricately attentive to the groups in question).

The loaded questions come in this form: based on the facts reported by unnamed experts - that repealing the Wright Amendment will have such-and-such negative impact on the community (lost jobs, lost commerce, decreased property values in the Love Field area) - is your position on the Wright Amendment affected?

A neutral poll would ask the responder if he or she agrees with the various claims of post-Wright-Amendment apocalyptic doom. But gauging public opinion is not on this polling organization's agenda.

The statement on push polling by the National Council on Public Polls is worth reading. It's stated in context with campaigns for elected office, but the principles apply to all other uses of push polling.

Update: Welcome to Virginia Postrel's readers.




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