I guess Richard Burr's consistently poor approval numbers have gotten under his skin, because his campaign operation went attacking us to Politico this week.
When a campaign starts running against pollsters that's usually a pretty bad sign. The three North Carolina ones I can remember dissing us to the media last year- Elizabeth Dole, Richard Moore, and Bill Daughtridge- didn't end up so good.
In fact the timing of this salvo from Burr's campaign is almost identical to one launched against us by the Dole campaign in July 2007, and we all know how that ended up.
Now the Burr campaign did one thing well in this article, which is create an impression that we're the only group out there delivering bad news and we're just doing it because we have a partisan interest. Of course the conservative Civitas Institute has repeatedly found pretty similarly bad numbers, including a 40% approval rating and 33% favorability on its last two polls. The truth is that pollsters on both sides of the spectrum are finding the same thing when it comes to Burr's vulnerability.
Anyone who follows us closely knows that we put out the numbers however they come- in the last week alone we've shown Bev Perdue with a dreadful approval rating in North Carolina, as well as unexpected levels of vulnerability next year for the Democratic Governors in Wisconsin and Ohio. We show lower approval ratings for Barack Obama than almost any other pollster.
If Burr's numbers are worse than Elizabeth Dole's at the same point in the cycle then that's a real cause for concern, and attacking PPP isn't going to help his cause, although we don't mind the attention. And if his approval ratings improve, our numbers will reflect it.