Campaign spin of the day/week: Tom Corbett polling rebutting that he's losing.

Campaign Spin of the Day/Week

Campaign Spin of the Day/Week

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Sept. 11 2014 4:12 PM

Campaign Spin of the Day/Week

Sure he's losing, but not as bad as you might think!

Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images

PHILADELPHIA—A previous post mentioned Tom Corbett, the Republican governor of Pennsylvania who won in the 2010 wave and proceeded to alienate Democrats and strike Republicans as a feckless weakling. The Connecticut-based Quinnipiac poll asked voters whether they planned to vote for Corbett again, or to replace him with Democratic candidate Tom Wolf, a businessman-philanthropist who has not lost a step since his landslide primary win. The new poll gives Wolf a 59-34 lead, the sort of dominance that is rarely overcome this close to an election, and the Steve Esack write-up is chockablock with details about Corbett's pre-deceased status.

It also contains this spin.

On Thursday, the Corbett campaign dismissed the Quinnipiac phone survey results. He pointed to the latest New York Times/CBS News online poll, released Wednesday, that showed Corbett down 11 percentage points.

Yes: To argue that a poll showing Corbett losing by 23 points was inaccurate, the campaign asked people to look at the poll in which he was down by only  11. (Context: Only two polls in 2012 showed Barack Obama beating Mitt Romney by more than 11 points in Pennsylvania. After Romney threw resources into the state, he lost by 5.)

Previously, as Jamison Foser points out, Corbett's campaign rebutted a public poll in which he was losing badly by citing a private poll in which he was ... losing by 7 points.

Why should residents of 49 other states, the District of Columbia, Guam, or the larger world care about this? I can't tell you, but I wanted to share this example of how talking to campaign spokesmen is often like talking to con artists, with the dazzle replaced by mad-lib approved statements.

(Philadelphia dateline/slow-ish pace of posts today courtesy of a story I'm writing for tomorrow. Not about Corbett.)

David Weigel is a reporter for the Washington Post.