Fingerhut Granados Opinion Research

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This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

Fingerhut Granados Opinion Research (FGOR) was a propagand-for-sale polling company run by Vic Fingerhut. It did some polling work and statistical manipulation for the Tobacco Institute in the early-to-mid 1980s, obviously knowing that the Economic Policy Institute (who supposedly commissioned the study) was also a front for the tobacco industry. The idea was to intimidate Democrats from focussing too much (in the opinion of Big Tobacco) on taxes and deficits. (ie raising excise taxes on cigarettes)

Jeff Faux from the Economic Policy Institute provided the appearance of apparent neutrality in the so-called commissioning of this kind of polls. The only real unanswered question is whether anyone actually bothered to conduct even a token poll, since the results were probably dictated by the Tobacco Institute before pen was ever put to paper. The Tobacco Institute side of the operation was run by Scott E Stapf, the assistant to the president.

Documents & Dates

1984 Nov 8 The Fingerhut Granados Opinion Research organisation has issued a press-release "Post-election Poll Shows Mondale Could Have Won Vote of Reagan Democrats With Populist Economic Appeal"

Key defecting Democratic voters rejected (Walter) Mondale focus on taxes and deficits. Wanted activist economic policies.
[They claimed the poll results showed] ... that Mondale's failure to present a strong, clear message about prosperity for the "average American" was the key reason many Democratic-leaning working and middle income voters decided to support President Reagan.
The poll, commissioned by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) and other FGOR clients
[The Tobacco Institute obviously!], confirmed the findings of other recent polls that Mondale's tax and deficit proposals actually hurt him with the key swing voters he needed to win.

[Note: The Tobacco Institute's intention was clearly to give a message to Democratic strategists that the party should no longer promote revenue-raising measures via cigarette excise taxes.]

The three contacts given for further information were:

[Note: At that time Scott Stapf was the assistant to the president of the Tobacco Institute.]