Report: Axelrod Sought to Intimidate Gallup When Findings Favored Romney

Thursday, 06 Sep 2012 07:13 PM

By Todd Beamon

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Emails between senior officials of the Gallup Organization show senior Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod attempting to subtly intimidate the polling firm when its numbers were unfavorable to the president.

After Gallup declined to change its polling methodology, the U.S. Department of Justice hit it with an unrelated lawsuit — alleging it had defrauded the government, The Daily Caller reports.

And, weeks after announcing its filing of the lawsuit, the agency that is headed by Attorney General Eric Holder has yet to officially serve Gallup.

Editor's Note: Will Obama Be Defeated? Vote Here!

“We have not been served with the complaint,” a senior Gallup official told The Daily Caller. “I think they are drafting an amended complaint, but we cannot file an answer or motion to dismiss until we’ve been officially served.

“We obviously have a copy that has been distributed online, but until it is served, it is not official,” the Gallup official said.

Justice Department officials did not respond to queries from The Daily Caller regarding the lawsuit.

As for the emails, Axelrod tweeted in April that a poll showing Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney with a 48-43 percent lead over Obama was “saddled with some methodological problems,” The Daily Caller reports.

As such, Axelrod directed his Twitter followers to read a report in the National Journal criticizing Gallup polls that showed Romney ahead.

In that National Journal article, Ron Brownstein wrote that the polls showing Romney leading the president had “a sample that looks much more like the electorate in 2010 than the voting population that is likely to turn out in 2012,” The Daily Caller 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, The Daily Caller reports.

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.”

The 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,” The Daily Caller reports.

The various emails directly contradict what Axelrod’s fellow Obama campaign adviser Robert Gibbs told The Washington Times this week about the campaign’s dealings with Gallup.

Editor's Note: Will Obama Be Defeated? Vote Here!

The newspaper reported that Gibbs said he was unaware of any communications between the Obama campaign and Gallup, The Daily Caller reports.

“I was the press secretary for two years,” Gibbs told the publication on Tuesday at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.
“I know and it was really smart not to get involved in discussing things around the Justice Department that I have no knowledge about.

“I have no knowledge of any discussions of anybody on the campaign side with Gallup,” Gibbs said.

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