A Cuccinelli operative thinks polls are a liberal plot -- all of them, apparently:
Multiple public polls put Terry McAuliffe ahead by double digits in the closing weeks of the Virginia governor’s race. But when the results were tallied, he won by a mere 2.5 points.Yeah, right -- public polling is a Democratic suppression tool. Those polls in New Jersey showing Chris Christie leading by as much as 43 points over his Democratic opponent? Big liberal plot.
... Already, many operatives are asking why the numbers were so skewed -- and whether they helped shape the outcome.
Republican Ken Cuccinelli's chief strategist said Wednesday that the polls were worse than wrong: He believes they badly hobbled his candidate's viability and made a late comeback more difficult.
"Public polling is essentially a suppression tool used to demoralize our voters and dry up money, especially the latter," Chris LaCivita told POLITICO.
And in your race, Chris, do you recall which poll gave McAuliffe the biggest lead, 17 points? It was a Rasmussen poll. Rasmussen is one of yours, not one of ours.
And you know who else was in on the liberal plot, Chris? Your own campaign:
Republican internals also had Cuccinelli down much further than Democratic internals.Well, this talk of a voter-suppression plot is what you'd expect from a guy like Chris LaCivita:
At the end of September, even before the shutdown started, Cuccinelli trailed in the high single digits in his own survey. A poll for the Republican Governors Association conducted in the middle of October, just before the shutdown ended, had Cuccinelli down 10.
The Cuccinelli campaign didn't like the numbers, so they ran their own poll around Oct. 18 -- after the shutdown ended -- and discovered that Cuccinelli was down 8 points among those most likely to vote. Worse, he was only winning whites by 3 points and had locked down just 57 percent of soft Republicans.
These numbers persuaded the RGA to not pour much beyond the $8-plus million investment already made....
LaCivita at one time worked for the Republican political consulting firm DCI Group, which had close ties ... to ... Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. During the 2004 US Presidential campaign, LaCivita served as consultant and principal media advisor to the Swift Boat Veterans, writing and producing the group's memorable (and controversial) commercials in association with Rick Reed....If you've spent a significant part of your career treating voters the way Barnum treated the rubes, you might assume everyone else is trying the rig the game, too.
Interviewed in March, 2007, LaCivita told reporters that the GOP could silence the press uproar over the sudden dismissal of eight US Attorneys by promoting stories about the most extreme among anti-Bush activists. "When are we going to make it about Code Pink and the rest of the liberal weirdos controlling the Democrat agenda?" he asked.
During the 2008 presidential campaign, LaCivita and Tony Feather launched a new 501(c)4 issues advocacy group, the American Issues Project, after a series of meetings with other Swift Boat donors. In August 2008, AIP began airing ads in battleground states seeking to raise questions about Democratic Party presidential nominee Senator Barack Obama's ties to former student radical William Ayers....
I don't know why the polls in this race were inaccurate. It looks as every pollster was polling the wrong sorts of white voters:
"Our sample of white voters was too liberal," [Tom Jensen of Public Policy Polling] said. "We had Cuccinelli winning whites by about 10. He won white voters by closer to 20 points. That kind of thing pretty much happened in all of the polls."I have a theory. Maybe if you run a teabagger like Cuccinelli in a swing state, and his base is made up of people who think all polls are LIES from the LIE-beral media, those base voters will disproportionately refuse to do the surveys, and pollsters will turn to other demographically similar but ideologically less conservative voters -- which would mean, Chris, that the results in this race were being skewed by your own voters. If I'm right, your base was demoralizing itself by not participating.
I don't know if that's true, but it wouldn't surprise me.
UPDATE: Read this thread's first comment, which is from Victor, who has some experience in these matters. He did some polling work a couple of years ago and says that right-wing respondents really did express reluctance to cooperate if the pollster wasn't right-wing.