The Daily Caller has obtained internal emails from the Gallup organization, indicating that unnamed White House officials contacted them around April, upset over recent polls. This came around the same time White House senior Adviser David Axelrod was publicly criticizing Gallup’s methodology after the poll published results putting Mitt Romney ahead of President Clinton.
The story, by Matthew Boyle, reports:
Internally, Gallup officials discussed via email how to respond Axelrod’s accusations. One suggested that it “seems like a pretty good time for a blog response,” and named a potential writer.
In response to that suggestion, another senior Gallup official wrote — in an email chain titled “Axelrod vs. Gallup” — that the White House “has asked” a senior Gallup staffer “to come over and explain our methodology too.” (Emphasis added)
That Gallup official, the email continued, “has a plan that includes blogging and telling WH [the White House] he would love to have them come over here etc. This could be a very good moment for us to [show] our super rigorous methods compared to weak samples etc. …”
The writer named several news organizations with their own polling methodologies, all of which resulted in numbers more favorable to President Obama at the time.
In response to that email, a third senior Gallup official said he thought Axelrod’s pressure “sounds a little like a Godfather situation.”
“Imagine Axel[rod] with Brando’s voice: ‘[Name redacted], I’d like you to come over and explain your methodology…You got a nice poll there….would be a shame if anything happened to it…’”
In a second email chain titled “slanderous link about Gallup methodology,” another senior Gallup official noted that a Washington Examiner story on Axelrod’s anti-Gallup tweet was “on [the] Drudge [Report] right now,” before writing that the episode was “[s]o politically motivated, it’s laughable.”
“As they say in b-ball: he’s trying to work the refs,” that official wrote to other senior Gallup staffers. “What a joke. Axel’s had a bad week. He got in the middle of the Ann Romney thing. Then said the country is going in the wrong direction. (Oops!) Now he’s swinging at us….”
The Daily Caller’s article further links this to a lawsuit the Department of Justice joined against Gallup last month for allegedly overcharging the government, indicating the suit may have been payback for Gallup’s refusal to play ball. It notes the Justice Department had left lawsuit dormant for more than 18 months and the initial complaint was filed by a former Obama 2008 campaign field organizer.