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Politics Northwest

The Seattle Times political team explores national, state and local politics.

June 12, 2013 at 12:11 PM

Robo calls in mayor’s race to ID supporters

Seattle voters over the past two weeks report robo calls asking for preferences in the crowded mayor’s race. The automated caller says there are four leading candidates, Peter Steinbrueck, Ed Murray, Mike McGinn and Bruce Harrell, though the order seems to be different on each call.

Voters are asked, “If the mayor’s race were held today, which candidate would you choose?” Callers also are given two other options: a candidate not mentioned (there are five others) and undecided.

Mayor Mike McGinn’s campaign manager, John Wyble, said the calls aren’t theirs and aren’t polling at all, but rather a technique to identify potential supporters and follow up with outreach and requests for contributions.

Wyble liked the strategy so much he said he’d start making similar calls for McGinn next week, as well as gear up a phone bank to do more voter outreach.

McGinn reported $1,434 for polling in May, for what Wyble described as a simple candidate preference survey done after City Councilmember Tim Burgess unexpectedly dropped out of the race.

Ed Murray also was polling in May — but spending way more money. Murray’s campaign reported spending $30,000 for EMC Research. Those calls were made by live people who tested messages about Murray’s background and accomplishments in office, including helping to win approval of gay marriage in Washington.

Comments | More in Politics Northwest | Topics: Bruce Harrell, ed murray, mike mcginn

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