Former Obama Campaign Manager: You Know, 'All Public Pollsters Should Be Shot'

Posted: Feb 12, 2018 8:27 AM

Jim Messina, former campaign manager for Barack Obama, didn’t hold back in sharing his feelings about public polling early in an election year during an appearance Friday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” 

"Joe, you know how I feel about public polls," he told host Joe Scarborough. "I think all public pollsters should be shot.”

Messina went on to explain he also looked more for “passion and intensity” to determine a candidate’s prospects.

“When I ran President Obama’s campaign, the number I looked at every day was intensity. Are my voters more motivated than Republican voters?”

Messina cautioned against generic ballots this early.

“The generic ballots don’t matter until August of the election year, that’s what history teaches us,” he said. “Don’t go generic. It’s going to jump all over the place.”

He said Democratic voters are “more intense” and pointed to recent electoral performances in New Jersey, Missouri, and Virginia showing this intensity is in their favor.

Messina’s comments could stem from the fact that Democrats have lost their double-digit lead over Republicans heading into the midterms, from 15 percent to just 2 percent. As Fox News contributor Jen Kerns pointed out:

Generic ballot polling is generally thought to be the best predictor of the mood of the electorate during a midterm season. Such polls usually ask the question: “If the election were held today, would you vote for a Democrat or Republican for Congress?”

The latest responses are very troubling for Democrats.

New polling shows that Democrats have lost their recent 15-point lead over Republicans, dropping to only a two-point lead for a critical election they had hoped to paint as a referendum on President Trump and writ large, Republicans.

However, historically speaking, the news is more daunting for Democrats. Compared to where they stood in the 2014 midterm elections, Democrats are actually faring worse at this point than they were then.