I mentioned in my previous post on the Democratic Party of Arkansas (DPA) expenditures on oppo research that they have also spent $44,000 last quarter on Washington pollster Hickman Analytics. Interesting story today in Politico on Harrison Hickman who testified under oath in the trial on John Edwards. Hickman was also the pollster for the Edwards campaign and made some startling admissions in his testimony. From Politico…
Under oath, Hickman admitted that in the final weeks of Edwards’s 2008 bid, Hickman cherry-picked public polls to make the candidate seem viable, promoted surveys that Hickman considered unreliable, and sent e-mails to campaign aides, Edwards supporters and reporters which argued that the former senator was still in the hunt —even though Hickman had already told Edwards privately that he had no real chance of winning the Democratic nomination.
“They were pounding on me for positive information. You know, where is some good news we can share with people? We were monitoring all these polls and I was sending the ones that were most favorable because [campaign aides] wanted to share them with reporters,” Hickman testified on May 14 at the trial in Greensboro, N.C. “We were not finding very much good news and I was trying to give them what I could find.”
Hickman testified that when circulating the polls, he didn’t much care if they were accurate. “I didn’t necessarily take any of these as for—as you would say, for the truth of the matter. I took them more as something that could be used as propaganda for the campaign,” the veteran pollster said.
WOW – But I am sure this practice was limited to only Edwards campaign right? We can trust the polls he helps push out for his other clients – right?
Asked if what he did to that end in the 2008 race was at all unusual when compared with other contests, Hickman told Duncan: “No. No. I did — you know, I did what I was supposed to do…. I did my job the way I’ve always done my job.”
Um, alrightly then. Maybe those polls need an asterisk mark.