Friday, June 19, 2009

More on the Burr poll saga

As I wrote about yesterday, Roll Call had a story about what it identified as a Richard Burr internal poll that showed him leading Elaine Marshall. Burr's spokesman, Paul Shumaker, was quoted about the poll.

I pointed out that this was quite ironic given that two weeks ago Burr had told the News&Observer that our testing him against hypothetical opponents was 'ridiculous.'

Within an hour a commenter showed up on our blog saying that it was not actually an internal poll, but had come from the Carolina Strategy Group. The CSG is a new Republican automated polling firm in North Carolina (I'm pretty sure created to counter us) that is run by...the very same Paul Shumaker who is Burr's main political consultant.

To me this looks like classic CYA. Shumaker discussed the poll with Roll Call as if it was an internal poll and I'm pretty sure the messaging about the origin of the poll just changed when we pointed out Burr's contradictory comments from a couple weeks ago. Either way it's hard to consider a poll conducted by Burr's strategist to not be 'internal,' whether the Burr campaign actually paid for it or not.

To continue the story, Chris Cillizza reported on the poll this morning, referring to it as an internal poll, then crossed out the reference to its being an internal poll and said it wasn't released by Burr's campaign. He didn't note that it was released by Burr's campaign manager.

I guess no one is exactly sure what happened here but it makes Burr's operation look pretty chaotic. The fact that they didn't release any approval or reelect numbers seems like confirmation that their numbers are saying the same thing our numbers are, which is that only 29% of North Carolinians and even just 49% of Republicans, think that he deserves another term. I hope some intrepid reporter will look more into what happened here.

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