Campaign Journal: Planning a Secret-Poll Scam

Planning a Secret-Poll Scam

For Richard Gephardt, the Jefferson-Jackson Day dinner in Des Moines was a fine forum to show his strength. His campaign had invested heavily in Iowa, hoping that next February's caucuses would catapult him ahead of the pack, but recently he was passed in the polls there by Paul Simon and Michael Dukakis. So his well-honed organization planned to pack the hall and win a straw ballot at the Nov. 7 dinner, just as Jimmy Carter's supporters did twelve years ago. The problem: the Democratic Party has banned all such contests.

To get around the rule, officials in Gephardt's Iowa organization secretly...