Rightwing radio host Aaron Flint is trying to peddle a political poll he and his young GOP insider friends threw together last week. Apparently they want to graduate from the sandbox by showing off what they think is a big kid poll.
First, let’s look at the characters behind it. This poll is a joint effort by 47 North Communications and Northern Broadcasting (Flint got to slap his picture on it). In other words, don’t expect any accuracy.
- Northern Broadcasting, founded by Conrad Burns, is now run by Taylor Brown—the guy who introduced Dennis Rehberg when Rehberg announced Steve Daines could no longer run for the Senate.
- Former Burns staffer and current GOP operative Aaron Flint has already burned through his 15 minutes of fame by suing the University of Montana as a student—a case that went to U.S. District Court.
- 47 North Communications is sort of a consulting firm run by Jake Eaton and Dustin Frost. Who can forget Eaton, who also landed in U.S. District Court for trying to suppress the votes of 6,000 Montanans in 2008. With his tail between his legs, Eaton resigned, left Montana, then came back hoping nobody would notice. And then there’s Frost, a Rehberg employee until he was put into a coma under his boss’s watch.
So are we supposed to trust numbers from these guys? Their math doesn’t even add up.
Among a small sample of 400 “likely voters” polled, 46% identified themselves as Republicans, 36% as Democrats and 14% independents. Not only does this only add up to 96%, it’s also inconsistent with traditional polling numbers in Montana. A recent poll by Public Policy Polling identified a whopping 32% of Montanans as independents.
Let’s also not forget the poll was conducted with “computer aided telephone interviewing,” which usually means you get a call from a live person who tosses you into a computer system. And then you have to push buttons to answer questions.
Also, why doesn’t this poll tell us about a matchup between the two people who might very well be frontrunners in the 2012 gubernatorial race: Rick “I’m Better Now” Hill and Steve Bullock? Don’t tell me our GOP friends forgot to ask that question.
This isn’t the first time Republicans have tried to take a whee on our leg and tell us it’s raining. In 2008, the Montana GOP claimed Roy Brown was ahead of Governor Schweitzer by 4 points—in response to a real poll indicating that Schweitzer actually led Brown with a 39-point lead. We all know how well that worked out for Roy Brown.