Slim DiNuccios Poll

No pollster on the Massachusetts scene today has the ability to get under the skin of the state’s electorate in the way Edwin “Slim” DiNuccio does. Part seer, part savant, DiNuccio brings a rare perspicacity to the field of public opinion research. DiNuccio’s company–KFC/Public Opinion Research and Communications Dynamics, Inc.–looms especially large during election seasons. But because Massachusetts is a highly sophisticated state, perennially on the verge of producing another in a long line of U.S. presidents, DiNuccio thinks it important to poll year-round, and often around the clock. “If the public mind is going somewhere, we want to be the first to know,” DiNuccio explains.

A signature of the KFC/PORC Dynamics poll is its special attention to the mindset of young adults. DiNuccio was the first pollster to give respondents the chance to answer “Whatever” to questions that did not impress them one way or the other. DiNuccio also created the Oldster Poll, which conclusively determined that too many dirty words are used on television, the driver’s licensing process is unfair, and nothing is as good as it used to be.

We asked DiNuccio for an exclusive peek at his next telephone survey, which will seek to measure voter sentiment on a variety of issues. He agreed to show us a working script, provided that we quote him prominently in all future political coverage:

Hello, my name is and I’m calling from KFC/Public Opinion Research and Communications Dynamics. We’re conducting a public opinion poll. May I ask you just a few questions?

Let’s start with how much we have irritated you by calling now:

1) 100 percent, because I am feeding the kids
2) 100 percent, because I was watching “Seinfeld” reruns
3) How did you know the hospital room number where I am recovering from a stroke?
4) Not at all – I’m a senior citizen who loves to talk to strangers on the phone

I’m going to name several leading candidates for president of the United States in the year 2000. Please tell me which candidate you would favor:

1) Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts
2) Senator Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts
3) Former Rep. Joseph Kennedy II of Massachusetts
4) Former Governor of Massachusetts William F. Weld
5) Some other candidate from a backward state like Texas or Tennessee

If the 2002 governor’s election were held tomorrow, for whom would you vote? Former Gov. Michael S. Dukakis (or Democratic equivalent)? Standard-bearer of the GOP’s “New Celluccism” Jane M. Swift? Former Democratic House Speaker Thomas Finneran, running as a third-party “Finnerite” candidate? Or would you wait until 2002 to decide how to vote in that election?

Now a question about campaign finance reform. How much would you say you’ve read or heard about the Massachusetts Clean Elections proposal? Would you say you have heard:

A) Nothing? B) Nada? C) Zilcho? D) Zippo? E) Diddly? F) Squat?

From what you know about this proposal, would you favor Clean Elections, or do you prefer Dirty Elections, in which candidates discuss their youthful indiscretions, adulterous affairs, and unusual sexual practices in sworn affidavits made available on the Internet?

A) Clean B) Dirty

Many people say that young people today are turned off from politics. Which of the following issues do you believe today’s youth care passionately about?

1) Deregulation of the platform-shoe industry
2) Banning scary anti-tobacco ads from television
3) An end to authoritarian interference with college keg parties
4) Prohibiting government-sponsored smut on the Internet
5) Promoting freer access to government-sponsored smut on the Internet
6) Whatever

Finally, a question about the polling industry.Some people say political polling is a great service to democracy. Others disagree. How about you? Which of the following responses best expresses your feelings about this questionnaire?

1) It’s about time someone asked my opinion.
2) Please call again and ask about the Monica Lewinsky sex scandal.
3) What questionnaire? I thought I was a guaranteed winner like you said 20 minutes ago.
4) It’s still early, do you want to come here for dinner? Do you like balogna sandwiches and Tang? I’m lonely, please don’t hang up…