Todd Tiahrt’s campaign has a standing rule that it doesn’t comment on polls. We know that because his campaign has repeated that message at least twice when it has complained about an internal poll conducted for Jerry Moran, Tiahrt’s chief opponent in the Republican primary race for the U.S. Senate in Kansas.
It happened earlier today after an internal poll conducted for Moran showed he had a 32 percentage-point lead over Tiahrt with less than three weeks before the Aug. 3 primary.
Not long after Moran’s campaign released the results conducted by Alexandria, Va.-based Political Opinion Strategies, Tiahrts campaign spokeswoman Michelle Schroeder responded:
“As a rule, we do not comment on polls, but this internal poll from the Moran campaign is about as bad as Congressman Moran’s record on taxes, immigration and national security.”
Political Opinion Strategies was also hired by Moran’s campaign to do an in-house poll in May. After the results showed he had a 26 percentage point lead over Tiahrt, Schroeder wrote in a release, “We have known from multiple reports that Moran campaign has been conducting a push poll.”
A push poll is designed to influence the view of the respondents. Following the complaint in May from Tiahrt’s camp, Jennifer Duffy of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report said that Political Opinion Strategies was a “credible” firm and doesn’t do push polls.
Not that Tiahrt’s campaign hasn’t had its own in-house poll. An internal poll conducted by McLaughlin & Associates late last month said Moran and Tiahrt were “statistically tied.” It had Moran leading by 3 percentage points with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percent.
Moran’s internal poll released today had Moran receiving 56 percent of the vote to Tiahrt’s 24 percent. Fifteen percent were undecided in a poll that surveyed 450 likely Republican primary voters in Kansas from July 11-13. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.6 percent.
In a SurveyUSA poll conducted last month for KWCH in Wichita, Moran had a 20 percentage point lead (53 percent to 33 percent) over Tiahrt. The margin of error was 3.7 percent.
Bottom line: Polls are just polls. The voters will have the final say Aug. 3.