Are the Republicans manipulating polls? Do they believe that polling numbers influence the public? Is this why we see Bush ahead in the polls?
MINNEAPOLIS – The Star Tribune has declined to suspend its Minnesota Poll at the request of State Republican Party Chairman Ron Eibensteiner, who said the poll is “fatally flawed.”
On Friday, Eibensteiner called on the newspaper to suspend the poll until after the Nov. 2 election.
Last week, Eibensteiner called for the Star Tribune to fire its pollster for what he said was years of overrepresenting Democrats and underrepresenting Republicans in the poll. Days later, a new Minnesota Poll of likely voters showed Democratic presidential challenger Sen. John Kerry leading President Bush among likely voters, 50 percent to 41 percent.
Since that poll, three others have shown a much smaller gap. A CNN-Gallup Poll released Monday shows the race as a tie, while a Minnesota Public Radio-Pioneer Press poll produced by the Mason Dixon research firm shows Bush ahead by two percentage points, 46 to 44.
Strategic Vision, a Republican-oriented national poll of likely voters, released the latest poll, showing Kerry ahead in Minnesota by three percentage points, 48 to 45.
Eibensteiner said the other polls “are one more piece of damning evidence showing that the Minnesota Poll is flawed and failing the voters of Minnesota.”
The newspaper defended its poll.
“Our polling methodology is public and well-established, and the paper will continue to poll, report our results and publish other polls,” Star Tribune Editor Anders Gyllenhaal said.
Last week, Gyllenhaal called the GOP’s demand to fire its longtime pollster, Rob Daves, a personal attack that was “shameful and misdirected.”
Information from: Star Tribune, http:// WWW.STARTRIBUNE.COM