Michael Kiernan, the Chairman of the Iowa Democratic Party, issued a warning to Iowans yesterday to “watch out for partisan polls in the media.” Kiernan’s press release isn’t really a warning it’s a plea to the media who is usually sympathetic to liberal candidates and causes.
We know that Kiernan isn’t worked up over the fact that the Iowa First Foundation or TheIowaRepublican.com released polling information on various issues. Kiernan and IDP are worried that the Iowa First Foundation poll is probably going to validate the findings of the TIR poll which showed former Governor Branstad with a 16 point lead over Governor Culver.
In essence, Kiernan is begging the media to ignore both polls because they were commissioned by Republican groups. However both polls were conducted by two separate and highly respected polling firms. Each of these polling firms has an impressive list of clients, and both have been around for decades. If there were not good at what they do, they wouldn’t be in business. The thought that these polls are somehow cooked is ludicrous.
One would expect the IDP Chairman to do everything in his power to discredit these polls, but Des Moines Register political columnist Kathie Obradovich seems to agree with Kiernan.
Kathie, maybe instead of regurgitating what Michael Kiernan tells you at the Village Bean in your blog, you should pick up the phone and call Ann Selzer, the Register’s pollster and ask her about whether or not these polls are bogus or not. Seriously, it would be a great story. Additionally, nothing is stopping Chairman Kiernan or IDP from commissioning a poll and releasing the results to the media. In fact, if Kiernan commissions a poll, I will break it down objectively on this site.
I also find Kiernan’s press release as well as Obradovich’s suspicions to be hypocritical. In October of 2008, the liberal blog Daily Kos commissioned a poll by Research 2000 on the 4th district congressional race between Congressman Tom Latham and challenger Becky Greenwald. The Kos poll showed Latham with a slim 5 point lead.
The Des Moines Register immediately wrote doom and gloom stories about Latham’s campaign while continuing to sing the praises of Greenwald. The Latham campaign released the results of their internal polling showing the congressman with a 56% to 34% lead. Latham won on Election Day with 61% of the vote.
I make these points for a couple reasons. First, IDP has no problem with polls conducted by liberal blogs so long as they deliver the news they want to hear. Secondly, the Des Moines Register wrote actual news stories about the Kos poll, not just blog entries like they have done with the Iowa First Foundation and TheIowaRepublican.com polls.
Again, if Kathie Obradovich thinks that the wording of the poll is suspect, then call your own pollster and write a story about it. The Des Moines Register could also conduct its own poll. As for Kiernan, IDP or the Iowa Independent could commission a poll, and I would gladly break down the poll results or better yet, I will post a break down from Chairman Kiernan on my blog on.
I’m guessing Kiernan will not take me up on my offer. I don’t care who conducts the poll, any legitimate poll is going to tell the same story. Iowans don’t like Governor Culver’s agenda, Iowans think Culver is incompetent, and most importantly, Iowans are ready to move on and give someone else the opportunity to lead the state.
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