ABC News Polling Unit on Clinton Pollster’s Memo: ‘Full of Overblown Claims’

By Jennifer Parker

Mar 20, 2008 2:05pm

Clinton senior strategist Mark Penn put out a polling memo today heralding a "shift to Hillary."

Peyton Craighill of the ABC News Polling Unit reports: "Mark Penn’s note is full of overblown claims based on current polling. He’s cherry picking numbers from recent polls. Much of his claim of a Clinton swing is based on the latest tracking data from Gallup in which Clinton is now ahead by 7 points. If you go back two more days Obama has a 7-point lead in a separate USA Today/Gallup poll. CBS has a new poll out today that shows a close 46-43 percent Obama-Clinton race. The CBS poll also has the match ups with McCain at 48-43 percent for Obama-McCain and 46-44 percent for Clinton-McCain. We see little indication of a shift to Clinton.  Of the nine polls cited in his note, five of them are not airworthy."

("Airworthy" is a term our Polling Unit uses for polls we can use for our reporting, as opposed to ones so poorly done we are discouraged from mentioning them on air.)

Myself, when it comes to polls, I think of what a wise woman, Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, said in January:

"One thing I think everybody should’ve learned after New Hampshire is let’s not pay so much attention to polls….I didn’t pay attention to polls before New Hampshire and I’m not going to start paying attention to it after New Hampshire."

- jpt

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