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Friday, November 2, 2012

Robo-Call Bigot Blast Coming to Washington

Posted by on Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 9:30 AM

This morning, from the the National Organization for Marriage:

In the final days before voters go to the ballot box, the National Organization for Marriage and its partners are launching a major push to reach and mobilize 10 million voters with a positive message for marriage. The new campaign, with a budget of $500,000, involves robocalls to households in Maine, Maryland, Washington State, Wisconsin, Ohio and Pennsylvania. The calls feature prominent advocates for traditional marriage and family, including Dr. James Dobson, Senator Marco Rubio and former Governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee. Calls will be placed in both English and Spanish, targeting voters across the political spectrum who favor retaining the definition of marriage, which has characterized society for centuries.

I phone-banked to Approve R-74 earlier this week, and I gotta say—most people just don't answer their phones. The folks who do answer are fatigued by political messages. So I'm guessing that the vast majority of NOM's anti-gay calls are going to be robots leaving voice mails, and after they do, most people will delete them as soon as it's revealed as a political ad. So, yes, this is a big bigot blast, but I doubt it will have much impact.

Still, whoever gets one of these calls, can record it, and e-mails me the audio file, I'll post it on Slog. And love you forever.


Comments (16) RSS

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Baconcat 1
I'm guessing they aren't aware we vote by mail and that a robocall won't do much this late in the election. Especially given the polling trends and pretty intense GOTV we have. Maryland and Maine are too close to call and have in-person voting though, so...
Posted by Baconcat on November 2, 2012 at 9:40 AM · Report this
Knat 2
I know there is an exception for some political calls, but could people still file a complaint through the National Do Not Call Registry? In my experience, they do nothing to solve the problem, but still, it might make people feel better if nothing else.
Posted by Knat on November 2, 2012 at 9:44 AM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 3
It's too late.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on November 2, 2012 at 10:03 AM · Report this
I just love that phones now will tell you where a call is coming from. I have received 3 calls from D.C. (no voice mail), 1 pro-McKenna call (voicemail "He supports woman!"), and one from the ACLU (voicemail) which I'm annoyed about (yes ACLU, I gave you money so I'm pretty sure I know how you would vote on issues).

But I hate that they are now calling my cell phone which is registered on the Do Not Call Registry.
Posted by sisyphusgal on November 2, 2012 at 10:08 AM · Report this
Will in Seattle 5
the good part is the most pro-74 people are young people who don't answer the calls.

and the 50 percent of voters who have already mailed in their ballots (40 percent received and processed).

@2 @4 political calls are, sadly, exempt from the DNC registry. I agree, they shouldn't be, but they are.

@1 for the Epic Win of the Too Late You Haters day. Ooh, Rainier is pretty right now.
Posted by Will in Seattle on November 2, 2012 at 10:18 AM · Report this
When is NOM going to start being affected by all the lawsuits they've lost and STILL aren't complying with?

They need their assets seized until they do.
Posted by Lymis on November 2, 2012 at 10:20 AM · Report this
Ziggity 7
We get solicitors in my neighborhood - Save the Children types - so myself and many of my neighbors have 'No Soliciting' signs up. Much like the Do Not Call registry, political doorbelling isn't technically soliciting, so during the primary we got some folks coming through to tell us about their candidacy. This must still be going on, as I noticed one of my neighbors put up a sign that says, "We already voted. Keep moving."
Posted by Ziggity on November 2, 2012 at 10:35 AM · Report this
We received an approve 74 robocall from Obama here in Olympia.
Posted by iggyorange on November 2, 2012 at 10:54 AM · Report this
geoff teardrop 9
How do i siphon off some of this cash for all these campaigns? i mean i could live for a year off of 5% of what they're paying ROBOTS to call disinterested people at dinnertime
Posted by geoff teardrop on November 2, 2012 at 11:01 AM · Report this
Sir Vic 10
I phone-banked ... and I gotta say—most people just don't answer their phones

This is why I find most of the polls we see to be kind of silly. Not only the small sample sizes, but the obvious fact that a large percentage of people just won't answer an unknown call or participate in a survey. Those people vote, they just aren't interested in feeding the politco-industrial beast.
Posted by Sir Vic on November 2, 2012 at 11:06 AM · Report this
I just got a robocall for approve 74 and I was a little disappointed. I wanted bigoted lies and all I got was reasoned empathy and fairness.

What a letdown.
Posted by -J on November 2, 2012 at 11:15 AM · Report this
@10, except that they aren't that silly. Somehow they work. As Nate Silver has shown, you can use the data generated by polls to predict elections with a good deal of accuracy. They aren't perfect, of course, but they usually contain useful data.

We should be able to tell if they are getting less useful over time by comparing the results of the election to this year's polls.
Posted by SLCamper on November 2, 2012 at 12:13 PM · Report this
Sir Vic 13
@12 I'm all for Nate Silver's work. He increases the sample size by looking at dozens or more polls, examines them for bias, then compiles a weighted result. It's disgusting that he's being gay-bashed simply because people don't like his results.…

That's a lot different than just looking at one poll of 722 people conducted over 3 days and thinking it really has a lot of significance.
It's those individual polls, with possibly dodgy numbers, that seem to get all the headlines. That's the silly part.
Posted by Sir Vic on November 2, 2012 at 12:24 PM · Report this
Simone 14
I don't answer my calls if I don't know the number. And most are not leaving a message so it must not be that important.
Posted by Simone on November 2, 2012 at 3:35 PM · Report this
$500,000 is a huge budget for robocalls, which can be as cheap as $0.006/phone number. I don't think the right really tries very hard to get good pricing.
Posted by z(oo)mm on November 3, 2012 at 7:12 AM · Report this
Jesus robocalling Christ, I just got a third one from Sylvester Cann's campaign, and this was after I called Jackie Weller to ask them to stop calling me. She mumbled something about it being illegal for her to pass my do-not-call request on to their "consultants". Whaaa? The funny part is that Gerry Pollet, who had a vote in the bag, robocalled me too. Screw them both, not that it really matters. Unless anyone has any better suggestions, I'm writing in Julia Gillard.

What is it with these mouth-breathers? They can download the national Do Not Call list for free at and filter out the people who have gone out of their way to express their disdain for robocalls, but they choose not do. What are they thinking? "If we annoy them enough by doing what they specifically don't want us to do, maybe they'll vote for us?" I don't get it.
Posted by Stop Callimg Me on November 3, 2012 at 1:17 PM · Report this

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