Santorum Robocall Asks for Votes from Democrats

By: Fay Li Email
By: Fay Li Email

The day before the Michigan primary, candidates made one last effort to get the votes. That includes sending out robocalls, one of which was aimed at attacking Mitt Romney and his opposition to the auto bailout.

"You'd think the call is coming from the UAW Solidarity House or the re-elect Obama campaign," said political analyst Bill Ballenger.

That's what it seemed like, but the call ends with a notification that it was paid for by "Rick Santorum for President." While attacking Romney, the call also openly called on Democrats to vote for Santorum.

This robocall is just one out of a long list of robocalls sent out to Michigan voters. Mark Grebner's company, Practical Political Consulting, compiles voter information and sells it for use in robocalls. For those registered to vote in Michigan, their name will probably appear in Grebner's database of about six million voters.

"The Secretary of State provides a list of all the voters in the state including which elections people have voted in for $30 for the whole state," said Grebner.

Then, it's not difficult for professionals to match information from the Secretary of State with the number of voters' landlines.

"There is of course a consumer 'do not call' list which does not apply to politics," Grebner said.

That means there's not much voters can do to stop the calls.

According to Ballenger, the volume of robocalls sent out is what could make them effective for political candidates. However, Ballenger says it's still up in the air if Santorum's most recent call will help him in the campaign.

"Maybe there will be a backlash that sets in by tomorrow and maybe that will end up hurting Santorum rather than helping him. We don't know," Ballenger said.


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