In Virginia, Public Policy Polling found state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) trailing Terry McAuliffe (D) by 4 points in results released yesterday. The Republican gubernatorial campaign didn’t take the news well:
“According to the latest RRR Poll, Ken Cuccinelli leads his opponent Terry McAuliffe by 13.3 points, up from 12 points from RRR’s inaugural Poll released May 30th…. There is no margin of error, since RRR only produces error free surveys – and unlike PPP or DDD – we poll those actually voting (as we think that’s important).”
This is, of course, an attempt at humor. There is no “RRR Poll”; it’s something Cuccinelli made up in the hopes of mocking PPP and dismissing the legitimacy of the results.
Public Policy Polling can certainly defend itself however it sees fit, but I’m curious how long Republicans intend to keep this up. In Kentucky, PPP told Republicans what they didn’t want to hear, so the party said the results didn’t count. In Arizona, it happened again.
There may have been a point at which Republicans could try to cast doubts on PPP, but that point came and went last year – in 2012, Public Policy Polling had the best year of any pollster in the country. Literally, the very best.
So maybe it’s time to retire this talking point?
Besides, while PPP shows Cuccinelli trailing by four, the Republican-friendly Rasmussen offers completely different results: Cuccinelli trails by three. If the Virginia GOP wants to argue that there’s plenty of time for the polls to change, fine. If Republicans want to argue that the public isn’t fully engaged in the race yet, no problem.
But as I recall, those who cried “the polls are skewed!” the last time around were pretty disappointed on Election Night.