POLITICS

Obama camp attacks Gallup again

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Joel Gehrke,Politics Digest

President Obama’s campaign once again attacked the methodology of Gallup just days after the polling group adjusted their methodology in a way that benefited the president.

This time, the criticism came this time from the Obama pollster who mocked the Romney team for debating about the reliability of polls.

After Gallup/USA Today released a poll showing Mitt Romney tied with Obama among likely female voters in swing states, Obama pollster Joel Benenson pointed to “deep flaws in Gallup’s likely voter screen” and dismissed the survey as an “extreme outlier.”

David Axelrod, Obama’s top campaign strategist, made a similar argument earlier this year. “Gallup is saddled with some methodological problems,” Axelrod tweeted in April, when showed Romney with a five-point lead over the president after trailing throughout March.

The difference between Axelrod and Benenson, of course, is that Benenson specifically derided these kinds of comments two weeks ago.

“I understand that the Romney campaign feels that they need to talk about the public polls,” he told The Washington Post. “We don’t.” Benenson argued in that interview that black turnout would be just as high this year as it was in 2008.

“The notion that this electorate isn’t going to be as diverse as it was is frankly a fantasy,” Benenson said. “That reality may be uncomfortable for the Romney campaign, but this will be an electorate that has been as diverse as the previous four presidential elections.”

In light of those remarks, Benenson’s newest criticism of Gallup is a little surprises — and not just because it shows the Obama campaign now feels the need to debate polls.

Gallup recently changed their methodology in a way that favored President Obama. “Gallup altered its methodology with a month to go until Election Day,” The Weekly Standard’s Jay Cost observed last week in a discussion of Obama’s surprising leap to a 54 percent job approval rating. “And the result – at least on the job approval question – is a shift in Obama’s favor.”

 

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