How times change

I commented below how odd it was that the GOP was sending out releases now on polls showing only an 8 point spread between Kennedy and Klobuchar.

Check out this part of the e-mail Pat Shortridge, the campaign manager for Kennedy , sent out to supporters last night.

Dear Kennedy Supporter,

Three new polls were released today continuing to show that the Minnesota Senate race will be one of the closest in the country.

Survey USA and MN GOP have the race at 8 points and WSJ/Zogby at 9. Make no mistake, this race is the number one pick-up opportunity for Republicans in the country. Mark has just begun to help voters understand the big differences between the candidates on the big issues facing our country…

Whoaaaa! Hold on here, pard’ner!

Zogby now is a credible poll? This from the campaignthat took great pains to make the point to me about what a terrible, terrible journalist I was (and presumably still am) for being so biased as to cite — Zogby. (Here’s the one that REALLY made ’em mad!)

And wasn’t it GOP Chair Ron Carey who tried to cut Zogby off at the knees by noting…

“On Election Day in 2004, John Zogby confidently predicted that John Kerry would defeat President George W. Bush and get at least 311 votes in the Electoral College. In 2002, Zogby had Walter Mondale defeating Norm Coleman by six points in his final poll.

And now when the Kennedy folks wake up in the morning and ask “where’s the love for our guy?” the answer is…. John Zogby?????

I suggested last January that polls that weren’t budging indicated Kennedy may be in trouble, citing Zogby specifically. Boy, did the fur fly on that one! Proof that I was anti-Kennedy, they said. I got a call from the Kennedy spokesperson lecturing me on Zogby’s methodology, and an opinion of my shortcomings as a “reporter” (please note: I am not a reporter).

Looking back, the only problem with the assessment (mine, not theirs) was….well…there was no problem with the assessment, actually.

Back then my pals — and I mean that. I like those guys — over at at Kennedy vs. the Machine gave me a good going over.

Remember this?

Two important points: (1) Kennedy vs. the Machine is NOT part of the Kennedy campaign. And (2) Gary Miller, who started KvM and is as good a blogger as exists, has not wavered in his criticism of Zogby’s methodology. Unfortunately, he’s also not writing much anymore.

[…] If Polinaut didn’t have a track record of hyping flawed polls, burying a certain county attorney’s debate ducks (imagine, for a minute, Kennedy had done likewise), largely ignoring Sen. Dayton’s ignominious distinction, calling into question the motives of this and other conservative bloggers, overlooking Sen. Johnson’s colossal ethical breach for a week, hyperventilating about imagined breaches of privacy, selective highlighting on Kennedy & Klobuchar fundraising sources, Collins would have some cred of his own. […]

Back to memory lane…

On April 6th — no longer available for some reason, KvM said….

[…] Remember this column from Roll Call the next time Amy Klobuchar and Ford Bell tout their lead in an “interactive” Zogby poll. (All emphasis ours) […]

and in June we got, the now-lead guy at KvM, Andy Aplikowski said …

But there is no mention of Klobuchar’s lobbying hypocrisy on Polinaut. Instead he runs a story how she is leading in a Zogby poll. And takes a preemptive shot at KvM in it too. That is selective editing, my friends. Others know it as bias.

at Residual Forces, there was this

. Sorry, Zogby has been pretty well blown out of the water for credibility.

For the record, I absolutely do not believe this race is over. But the Kennedy campaign has made things difficult for themselves by squandering precious time making boogeymen out of people who say or write things they disagree with, instead of considering the possibility that not everyone who says something they don’t want to hear is in the pocket of their opponent.

They are not alone. Not by a longshot. And not just Republicans. It is the cancerous hubris of all politics.

When confronted with distasteful information, it’s far too difficult in the environment of a campaign organization for someone to muster the courage to ask, “what’s if it’s true?”.

It’s easier just to rally around punching the messenger.