One of the sad tales of the 2nd Illinois Congressional district race is the story of a pollster: Rod McCulloch. Rich Miller’s Capitol Fax pointed it out in yesterday’s edition. Rod McCulloch released a poll a day or two prior to the election showing that Debbie Halvorson not only leading, but leading big. Several media outlets picked up the story, with the Kankakee Daily Journal being the first. Another story here. And here too.
As we now all know, it was Robin Kelly that won big. To Rich Miller’s credit, he did not report or even acknowledge the Rod McCulloch poll because he had commissioned two polls by We Ask America that was dispatched only to Capitol Fax subscribers, that showed the opposite results of the McCulloch poll. In fact the latest We Ask America poll, acoocrding to Miller, showed Kelly surging.
Rod McCulloch is not a very good pollster either, and in this reporter’s opnion, bordering on being deliberately deceptive to fulfill his own agenda. Rod McCulloch is a longtime Republican strategist with a sordid history. In 2008, according to the Chicago Tribune’s Eric Zorn, Rod McCulloch was convicted of perjury in connection with the falsification of signatures for a DuPage County political candidate. He was sentenced to probation.
The story goes that once upon a time that Rod McCulloch was a pretty good pollster. No more.
The theme of the story in the Kankakee Daily Journal newspaper was that New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Independence USA PAC, that supported Robin Kelly, “may have backfired.”
But there is a history here that the Chicago Tribune’s political blogger, Eric Zorn, has reported in the past. Here is some of what Eric Zorn has reported.
Just a reminder, it was Rod McCulloch that “supposedly” polled the 11th Illinois Congressional District race this past November that pitted incumbent Republican Congresswoman Judy Biggert against then former Congressman Bill Foster on the final day before the election. He loves to release his polls the day before an election to, hopefully, impact the election of his choice.
It doesn’t work, but Rod McCulloch obviously believes it because it is his modus operendi.
Back to the Judy Biggert versus Bill Foster race. McCulloch’s “supposed” poll had Judy Biggert leading by, well, he never actually says by how much.
In the end, Rod McCulloch’s “supposed” poll was wrong. Big time. Bill Foster roundly defeated Judy Biggert and it wasn’t even close. Bill Foster had almost 58 percent of the vote; Judy Biggert had 42 percent.
That wasn’t the only “supposed” poll conducted by Rod McCulloch. In the 2011 city of Chicago mayoral race had former Senator Carol Mosely Braun gaining ground on Rahm Emanuel. In that “supposed” poll, Rod McCulloch had Braun at 23% of the vote, when in reality she received 8.99% of the vote. Rod McCulloch had Gery Chico at 16.1%, when in reality Chico garnered nearly 24% of the vote. On Rahm Emanuel, he had at 44.8% of the vote, when in reality he had nearly 55% of the vote.
Like I say, “supposedly” polling.
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John is the author of an award-winning book, the 2010 Winner of the USA National Best Book award for African-American studies, published by The Elevator Group Mr. and Mrs. Grassroots: How Barack Obama, Two Bookstore Owners, and 300 Volunteers did it. Also available an eBook on Amazon. John is also a member of the Society of Midland Authors and is a book reviewer of political books for the New York Journal of Books. John has volunteered for many political campaigns.