It's not uncommon for campaigns to take issue with the results of polls, or to counter by releasing more favorable internal numbers.
But Republican Ken Cuccinelli took a somewhat different tack after the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling found him trailing rival Terry McAuliffe by 5 points in the race for Virginia governor: His campaign created its own mock polling firm to deliver more welcome news.
From their satirical press release:
Ken Cuccinelli leads Terry McAuliffe by 12 points in a Virginia statewide poll released today by the newly formed polling firm, Republican Republican Republican (RRR). Cuccinelli Campaign Strategist Chris LaCivita formed RRR last week and has pledged to only conduct surveys on behalf of Republicans ... According to LaCivita, the automated telephone survey of 600 likely Virginia voters had a margin of error of +/- 0.00%. Interestingly, only one individual surveyed responded favorably when asked about Terry McAuliffe. That person, in turns out, owns an electronic car company in China and is living in America temporarily thanks to an EB-5 visa provided by GreenTech Automotive.
— PublicPolicyPolling (@ppppolls) May 30, 2013
While other candidates who've found themselves on the losing end of a PPP survey have attacked its methodology -- Mitch McConnell's team regularly criticizes it -- LaCivita takes issue mostly with PPP's admitted partisan leaning.
“I may be a little biased, but we tried very hard to appear objective," LaCivita wrote in the release. "It is our hope and expectation that members of the media will cover our first survey as thoroughly as they have recent surveys by Democrat firms.”
HuffPost Pollster, which tracks surveys released by all (real) firms, finds polls pointing in both directions. Along with PPP, a Quinnipiac University survey also put McAuliffe 5 points ahead, while a Washington Post survey gave Cuccinelli a 5-point lead among registered voters, and a 10-point lead among those likeliest to vote. The Pollster average, combining those and other surveys, puts the two men nearly dead even, with just under 42 percent each.