And the wider push-poll story.
We've all been plagued at home by calls from telemarketers. Worse, however, is when a research firm, working at the behest of an unidentified political organization, rings you up for the ostensible purpose of conducting a poll, but actually with the intention of circulating half-truths and rumors about a targeted candidate.
Which is precisely what happened earlier this week, when 750 Jewish voters in five key states - Florida, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Ohio and Michigan - picked up their phones to discover that a firm called Research Strategies was on the line and eager to gauge the voters' feelings about Barack Obama. The first bunch of questions were fairly innocuous, but, as the minutes passed, some of the voters became so upset by the questions - and suspicious of the questioner - that they began to take careful notes. Unfortunately for Research Strategies, some of the note-takers shared their findings yesterday with journalists. Also unfortunately for Research Strategies, one of those note-takers happened to be Jonathan Cohn, a frequent contributor to The New Republic.
In other words, the firm got busted for doing something that was supposed to stay under the radar. And the firm's confidential client - whose identity will be revealed shortly - got busted as well. It's worth examining this episode, because this is how hardball is played, far away from the stump speeches and TV ads.
Here's Ben Smith of Politico on the GOP group behind anti-Obama push-polling.