A Denver-based company called my wife yesterday to ask a series of questions to be used in some pre-election poll. Most of the questions were the expected ones about various candidates for state and national office. However, towards the end of the survey, there were several questions about Mark Foley, Dennis Hastert, and the two parties. The questions themselves were so loaded that it was impossible to answer them without validating the assumptions on which they were based. She spent several minutes insisting that the chap conducting the survey go to his supervisor to challenge the wording of the questions. After perhaps 5 or 6 minutes, her call was disconnected, maybe because it had exceeded a time limit.

This is not an exact replication of the question; she didn’t tape the interview. But how would you answer this:

Q: Do you think that Republicans covered up the sex scandal involving a Congressmen and a minor?

There was no sex, there was no cover-up, and the page in question was over the legal age of consent in DC. One would have thought pollsters were above asking questions like “when did you stop beating your wife?” Apparently not.

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