13 Stories

Robo-Calls Push Voters to Draft Clinton in 2012

No one knows who's behind mystery calls

(Newser) - The “Hillary for president” campaign just got bumped up a notch: Voters across the nation have been getting robo-dialed by a woman—who sounds a bit like the good secretary of state—insisting that “America would be better off” with Clinton as president. The robo-calls, which have been... More »

Robo-Palin Gets Into Va. Gov's Race

We didn't know about robocalls: McDonnell campaign

(Newser) - Virginia voters are getting recorded advice from Sarah Palin on how to vote in tomorrow’s gubernatorial election. The former Alaska governor’s robocall doesn’t mention GOP candidate Bob McDonnell by name—he’s been loath to accept support from the polarizing figure—but the message appears clear, CNN... More »

Web Vigilantes Take On Robo-callers

Online campaign targets companies

(Newser) - A group of techy activists tired of getting a stream of auto warranty robo-calls has turned the tables on one of the companies, the Wall Street Journal reports. "I thought, if you get a bunch of people together, you could blow up their voicemail boxes," says one frustrated... More »

Ay, Caramba! Bart Makes Robo-Call for Scientology

Actress who provides cartoon icon's voice uses it to plug controversial church

(Newser) - Actress Nancy Cartwright’s affiliation with Scientology has escaped public notice for the most part, but those days could be over. Cartwright, the voice of Bart on The Simpsons, is featured on a robo-call announcing a church event, the Village Voice reports. The actress peppers the invitation to the “... More »

Aide: Mac 'Greatest Closer of All Time'

Davis predicts McCain surprise win

(Newser) - McCain campaign manager Rick Davis told Fox News Sunday that the Republicans will seize Pennsylvania and the Southwestern states for a come-from-behind finish on Tuesday, the Hill reports. “John McCain may be the greatest closer politician of all time,” he said. Other highlights from the talk shows:
  • An
... More »

Robo-Calls Invade, But Can They Conquer?

Automatic calls can backfire, too

(Newser) - As Election Day looms, America's phones are ringing off the hook. Voters—especially in swing states—have received hundreds of millions of robocalls this year. But voters, curious about the novelty calls 10 years ago, increasingly associate them with ugly scare tactics. "Next week Robo-Call supposed to tell black... More »

Texts Much More Effective Than Robo-Calls

For now, texts are much more effective than robocalls, email

(Newser) - The candidates’ automated call campaigns have received a lot of attention, but text-messaging, which only the Obama campaign uses, is likely to have a much more potent effect on the race, writes Farhad Manjoo for Slate. Studies have shown that personal appeals are more effective at mobilizing voters than mailers... More »

Robocall Master Bought Palin's Fancy Clothes

Jeff Larson helped savage McCain in ugly 2000 SC primary

(Newser) - The Republican National Committee’s $150,000 spree on Sarah Palin’s wardrobe is so last news cycle, but, in the Atlantic, Joshua Green notes that the man swiping the credit card is GOP operative Jeff Larson. Larson is most notable for his role as a partner in the robocalling... More »

Obama Fights Robocall With Robocall

Wis. appeal decries McCain campaign as 'sleazy,' 'dishonorable'

(Newser) - Barack Obama has robotic telemarketers of his own, and he’s using them to complain about John McCain’s robotic telemarketers. Obama will begin blanketing Wisconsin today with a recorded call from “Jeri Watermolen,” who identifies herself as a Green Bay native who once backed McCain, but has... More »

Robocalls Are Legit: McCain

Defends use of same tactic used against him in 2000

(Newser) - John McCain defended his use of robocalls on Fox News Sunday, arguing his attacks on Barack Obama are different from the slanderous calls that targeted him during the 2000 primaries, Politico reports. “These are legitimate and truthful and they are far different than the phone calls that were made... More »

GOP Senator Blasts McCain Robo Calls

Collins criticizes the campaign for linking Obama to Ayers

(Newser) - GOP Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, facing a tough re-election fight, urged John McCain yesterday to stop making automated calls into her state that link Democratic nominee Barack Obama to one-time Weather Underground leader Bill Ayers. "These kind of tactics have no place in Maine politics," said Collins... More »

Group Hangs Up on Celebrity Robocalls

Prerecorded political messages from stars irk many voters

(Newser) - Not everyone is starstruck by phone calls from Jack Nicholson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jay-Z, or Scarlett Johansson. The appeals to get out and vote are prerecorded messages known as "robocalls," which have become the cheapest and most popular form of political advertising, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Now a... More »

Pols Like to Reach Out and Annoy Someone

States attetmpt to stop 'robo-calls,' but don't wait by the phone

(Newser) - Americans tend to get popular right before they vote, with their phones ringing as many as 25 times on election eves. Nineteen states have tried to cut down on “robo-calls,” and five more are considering laws this year, when hundreds of millions of them may be placed, USA ... More »

13 Stories