Insiders tell me that Congressman Dennis Rehberg enjoyed breakfast last month with the folks behind Rasmussen Reports, George Bush’s former polling operation often criticized for making “educated guesses.”
Rasmussen Reports is not Rehberg’s campaign polling firm. So why would he spend precious campaign time meeting with a polling firm that isn’t his own? Good question.
This week, a rival polling firm called Public Policy Polling released a poll showing Jon Tester with a five point lead over Dennis Rehberg. The poll, which sampled 934 Montana voters over the course of three days, showed Rehberg with a dismal 39 percent approval rating.
Lo and behold, one day later, Rasmussen Reports announced it too had a poll hilariously showing Rehberg with a ten point lead. Rasmussen’s poll only surveyed 450 voters on one day—May 2—the day after the Pubic Policy Poll was released. Again, Rasmussen Reports is known for exhibiting “a considerable bias toward Republican Candidates.”
This isn’t the first time rightwing polls showing Dennis Rehberg ahead have conveniently appeared in Montana’s Senate race.
- On January 30, Karl Rove’s secret organization Crossroads released a poll showing Rehberg 11 points ahead of Tester. The timing of the release was no coincidence: It gave a boost to Rehberg only hours before he announced pathetic 4th quarter fundraising numbers, where he pulled in half of what Tester raised. Look closely and you’ll see that the Crossroads poll itself was actually conducted between January 9-10, a full three weeks before it was announced.
- Another Rasmussen Poll showing Rehberg ahead was conveniently released just hours after Tester formally filed paperwork to become a Senate candidate on February 21.
Am I saying that Rehberg and his rightwing pollster buddies might have a deal to cook the books every now and then to create a perception of momentum for Rehberg? Why yes, I am.