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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Linn's Pollster New to Politics



Max Linn's entry into the Monday night gubernatorial debate was paved by a poll he paid for a week earlier. The pollster was National Business Communications, Inc. of Clearwater, a company that really is more of a call center. In fact, the company had only done one other political poll, ever. That was for Linn, as well, back in late September.

To meet the qualifications of the debate, Linn needed to get 7 percent in a poll. So last week, he paid $2,500 for the poll conducted by National Business Communications, Inc., according to court records. The poll said Linn had more than 8 percent of the vote. The poll was done by an automated robo-call-like system based on random phone numbers, not registered voters, according to company chief David Giorgione. He said it weeded things out like felons and unregistered voters by asking questions like party affiliation. The system made about 6,800 dials and got 611 responders for the poll, Giorgione said.

U.S. District Judge James Whittemore said the poll was good enough, even though it was paid for by Linn. It's not so different from attorneys who pay expert witnesses to testify in court, he said.

By the way, Whittemore is a President Clinton appointee and presided over some of the Terri Schiavo litigation.

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 11:35am]


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