Why is the Ron Paul Campaign Touting Suspicious Polling?
Over the past few days, some polls have been floating around showing Ron Paul beating Texas Governor Rick Perry and the entire field in the state of Texas for the GOP nomination. This is surprising because, even though Ron Paul is from Texas, there has (to my knowledge) never been a poll that wasn’t either a straw poll or some other non-scientific survey showing him leading the GOP race at any time. I then saw that Ron Paul himself tweeted a blog post that linked to the poll in question.
I already had some suspicions about this poll, so I decided to do a little digging. The poll was conducted by Azimuth Research Group and says that Ron Paul is leading Rick Perry in the State of Texas by a margin of 22%-17%. The post goes on to say this:
The poll comes just days after Mr. Perry announced his intention to seek the Republican presidential nomination.
First of all, that post may have come days after Rick Perry announced he was running, but the poll didn’t. The website for Azimuth Research Group is www.azimuthpolls.com and it clearly states this “poll” was taken from 5/29-6/3.
Now, If you’re wondering why I put quotes around the word poll, you’re about to find out. I had never heard of Azimuth Research Group or Azimuth Polling before so I decided to do a little research on them. The information on its own website says the following:
After the 2010 election we decided to fill our time between paid polling campaigns by doing selected pubic interest polls and formalized our organization as Azimuth Research Group in early 2011.
That and the posts on that blog don’t show anything other than they have only been around for a few months. They have a Facebook page which was created on June 30th of this year. I wasn’t able to find any presence on Twitter for them. The fact that they were only created a few months ago made me a bit skeptical, but is not a reason to dismiss their polling out of hand.
What I found next would greatly suggest to me that Azimuth Research Group and Azimuth Polls exist to as a propaganda arm for Ron Paul, even if indirectly by his supporters. I am not sure how much Ron Paul knows about the poll in the blog he tweeted to his followers, but I found out some rather interesting information about them.
The domain azimuthpolls.com is registered to Dave Nalle of Austin, TX. But who is Dave Nalle? Dave Nalle is a Ron Paul supporter and is Chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus, a group that promotes Libertarianism within the Republican Party. In fact, if you go there, you’ll see an article written by Dave Nalle entitled “Don’t Believe the Hype. Meet the Real Rick Perry.” The RLC also endorses just one current elected official that is running for president. Any guess as to who that is? Yup. Ron Paul. You can also find a great many posts by Nalle which stakes out a lot of which you can hear from Rep. Paul.
What you have is a a candidate for president, Ron Paul, tweeting a link to a blog that cites the only poll in existence that shows Ron Paul leading. It also just so happens to be from the Azimuth Group who has only been in existence for a few months, whose domain is registered to known Ron Paul supporter Dave Nalle who also happens to be chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus which also happened to endorse Ron Paul.
With that now in the picture, the Ron Paul campaign’s posting of the poll on their blog comes into question. Remember, the blog post claims the poll was taken days after Perry’s announcement, but as clearly shown on Azimuth’s own website, the poll is from late May /early June. It is possible that Hunter and Paul’s campaign were duped by the State Column into believing what they wrote, but with an avowed Paul supporter running the research group that took the survey, this becomes less likely.
But there’s more. In an interview, Nalle freely admits his poll is flawed, saying:
“maybe we got too many live responses from people who live in certain sections of the state. It wasn’t intentional, but it looks from the numbers that we caught a lot more people at home in the Houston area than we expected to, out of proportion with the rest of the state, and that includes the area that Paul represents. [...] The level of response from Houston was about 27% higher than expected and Austin was about 18% higher than average for the other regions. I think this was a result of timing since the bulk of the calls to those two areas were made on a Sunday afternoon. Henceforth we’re going to randomize the calls more for day of the week and time of day.”
To recap, the Paul campaign is tweeting out an article written on their campaign website touting a poll that came out days after Rick Perry announced but was actually released months earlier, conducted by a man with serious ties to Paul and freely admits that the poll was skewed. Is this a ploy for money, attention, or what?
Does this seem funny to anyone else or is it just me?