A recent fundraising email from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's campaign suggested that President Barack Obama ordered the firm Public Policy Polling (PPP) to "manufacture" a survey that said the Kentucky Republican was the "most unpopular Senator in the country."
A poll released by the left-leaning firm on Tuesday indicated that only 37 percent of Kentucky voters approved of McConnell.
"Both in terms of raw disapproval (55%) and net approval (-18) McConnell has the worst numbers of any of his peers, taking that mantle from Nebraska's Ben Nelson," PPP wrote.
But in an email published by the Louisville Eccentric Observer on Thursday, McConnell campaign manager Jesse Benton implied that Obama and other Democrats had conspired with PPP to fix the poll.
"Barack Obama and his allies told us what they were going to do," Benton wrote. "They think if they can manufacture a difficult re-election for Senator McConnell back home in Kentucky then they can push our Leader around in Washington."
He continued: "The partisan PPP polling company, which has been used as a tool for Obama Democrats to manufacture circumstances that don’t exist all across the country, descended upon Kentucky to proclaim that Senator McConnell has a 37% approval rating. The poll is laughable. But, the liberal press is gobbling it right up."
"What was really surprising was that even cooked books couldn’t produce a Democrat candidate who could beat Senator McConnell head to head," Benton said. "Cooked polls are certainly only the start of the liberals’ plans. They will throw the kitchen sink at us. This poll is just the tip of iceberg , and Leader McConnell needs your help. Please help with a contribution of $50, $100, $250 or even $500 today."
PPP Director Tom Jensen told the Louisville Eccentric Observer that letter from McConnell's campaign were similar to comments made by Republicans who were in denial about former presidential nominee Mitt Romney's 2012 campaign.
"I think one of the biggest lessons of the 2012 campaign was that when Republicans are attacking polls it’s a sure sign that they’re losing," Jensen explained. "GOP campaigns all over the country made these kinds of claims about us this year and we ended up calling every state in the Presidential race and Senate race we polled correctly. Nate Silver found that to the extent there was any bias in our polling, it was actually pro-Republican."
A study from Fordham University political scientist Costas Panagopoulos found that PPP was one of the top three most accurate polling firms during the 2012 presidential election.
[Photo credit: Gage Skidmore]