‘Fake Surveys Suck!’
Because I’ve seen them repeatedly through the years, I believe two of the survey packages in this mix are long-standing controls, or at least reliable second-string contenders that have been up-dated and refreshed over time.
The first is the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Survey on Freedom, Justice and Equality. It’s vintage ACLU, and the outer envelope art hasn’t changed much in more than 10 years. I’m sure the letter copy has been rewritten time and again as the specific threats to various liberties have developed, but the core offer remains: a chance to “help shape a genuine debate about bedrock American values.”
ACLU’s survey has 10 questions. Each asks for an affirmation (or denial) of a preceding statement that begins, “I believe …” No question requires an educational preamble nor are any of the questions “dumbed down” — on the whole, this survey appears carefully crafted precisely for its target audience. It’s still in the mail after all these years, anyway.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s 2007 New Directions Survey is much longer and more varied in question format than ACLU’s. I think the most difficult question for respondents is the first one, which requests a ranking of 12 legislative priorities and the directive, “1 = most important.”
Asking donors to decide among 12 priorities seems arduous to me — picking what’s first and last might be easy, but respondents could get hung up in the middle with choosing which ones are five, six and seven. And anything that stalls out the compulsion to write a check is not good.
However, after the ranking request, the DCCC survey questions are easier to answer and mostly meaningful, on point with the copy platform and the Democrats’ intent to set the country in a new direction with donors’ input and financial support.