The influential legislator in New Hampshire who seemed so eager to help MRA fix his state's "push poll" law, which harms and/or prevents bona fide political polling in the granite state, seems to have lost interest in assisting the research profession.

As he explained to the Foster's Daily Democrat (also citing MRA), NH Rep. David Bates (R-Rockingham-District 04), chairman of the House Election Law Committee, "there may not even be a problem." It would appear that, because only a few firms have been slammed with fines, he does not feel that the law poses a real concern: "The polling industry would prefer that there is a clearer distinction, but that's probably not necessary, because I think, as chairman of the Election Committee, I fully expect that our committee would want there to be a disclosure requirement either way."

So, while we continue to advocate for the necessary legislative fix, MRA likely must turn to other avenues to mitigate the problem. Our members know the problem to be real, since a number of them specifically avoid taking work involving telephone surveys in the granite state -- something that may ultimately imperil the granite state's standing as the first-in-the-nation presidential primary.

Polling firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research appealed to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) for aid, asking them to clarify that federal election laws pre-empt New Hampshire's "push poll" law, at least insofar as a survey only asks about federal candidates (not state ones). While an imperfect solution, MRA weighed in with the FEC in support of the request.