As the days quickly count down to primary Election Day in the Illinois special election to replace disgraced 18th District congressman Aaron Schock, establishment candidate Darin LaHood’s team has been floating a push poll filled with lies about his opponent, conservative candidate Mike Flynn.
A push poll is a false flag effort meant not to learn anything about what voters think–as a poll is supposed to do–but instead to poison voters’ minds against an opponent, using skewed questions loaded with innuendo and lies. Questions are asked in such a way as to make voters question an opponent’s views, and that is precisely what is happening in the 18th District.
Residents of the district have been receiving a call pretending to ask their views on the coming special election primary between establishment Republican Darin LaHood and grassroots conservative Mike Flynn, a founding member of Breitbart News. But instead of asking a voter’s views for research purposes, this call is meant to smear Mike Flynn.
Breitbart News has obtained a recording of one of these push polls from a voter in the 18th District, and the recording reveals that, after asking the voter if they are voting in the upcoming special election, where they are registered, if the line is a cell phone, and other innocuous questions, the poll taker gets to the smear tactics.
Some of the questions being pushed by Ventura Data–a political phone polling service based in Utah–are mildly misleading. But others are outright lies.
The questions in the push poll were meant to make Flynn look bad. One, for instance, was so incomplete that it amounts to a lie. The pollster states that Flynn “voted for Barack Obama for President.”
This isn’t really true, though. Flynn did vote in the 2008 Democratic primary to help a friend in a local election and voted for Obama to spite Hillary in 2008. But Flynn never actually voted for Obama for president, because he did not vote Obama in the general election. So, in reality, Flynn never voted for Obama for President. But the push poll doesn’t clarify and just leaves the lie out there to hang.
Several of the other questions try to paint Flynn as a big lobbyist in Washington instead of a resident of Illinois. These questions are clearly meant to muddy the waters to hide the fact that LaHood is endorsed by and has been given hundreds of thousands of campaign donations by a long list of big money lobbying firms from Washington D.C., including the amnesty supporting U.S. Chamber of Commerce and even a Clinton-backed, liberal lobbying firm called the Podesta Group.
But in exclusive comments to Breitbart, Mike Flynn noted that LaHood is really the candidate of insider Washington.
“Darin has accepted thousands of dollars from special interests that want amnesty, open borders and a bigger federal government. He will be a loyal foot soldier for John Boehner. I will not be,” Flynn said via email.
As to his reaction to this dirty trick push polling, Flynn called it typical of LaHood’s tactics.
“It is humanly impossible to keep up with the smears and dirty tricks from the LaHood campaign. A man who doesn’t have the stomach to debate issues in public or criticize my record to my face is undeserving of the public’s trust. Sadly, a LaHood victory would reward the cowardly politics that imperil our nation,” Flynn said.
The 18th District primary is coming quickly and will be held on July 7. Early voting is already under way.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at firstname.lastname@example.org