Sunday, November 02, 2008


I once attended a workshop by a campaign consultant who said that telephoning voters in Las Vegas was counterproductive because the local workforce's strange work schedules made it likely that you'd wake up a sizable chunk of voters.

That advice came back to me at 9:15 the other night when one of those irritating campaign robocalls came in. I quickly hung up due to my latent robophobia and so lost the chance to learn which candidate was being touted, although I could tell it was one of our local worthies.

This election seems to have more robocalls than its predecessors. I wonder how effective a technique can be that (1) might disturb someone's sleep; (2) is answered by some people who had to leap over furniture to grab the phone; and (3) contains absolutely nothing of substance.


DarkoV said...

Got one of those call yesterday as I was dismantling outdoor summer furniture. Being in expectation of the traditional Sunday afternoon call from one of the kids, I dropped all my tools (to find out later that one of the screwdrivers rolled off the deck into very deep grass that required a good 10 minutes to find) and rushed into the house.
A candidate called for me, I'm serious, "personally".

Here's what bothers me the most about the robocalls. The candidate could not receive my "personal" hastily concocted weaving of invective. Robocalls are the absolute worst one-way conversations; does anyone ever to listen to them all the way through? How many folks seriously re-consider their vote if a candidate they were slightly leaning toward launches this type of campaign?

Oh, that invective? Funny, your word verification was "cushead". I S_ _ T you not.

Michael Wade said...


What a great story! Every political campaign operative should read it. This afternoon, while working at home, I set aside some papers to answer the phone. It was a robocall from a justice of the peace candidate! Can the local dogcatcher be far behind?