TIP pollster smackdown (CLARIFIED)


Political pollsters Stan Greenberg and Frank Luntz  have been doing work for The Israel Project for almost seven years. They sat next to each other last August in Denver talking about their findings on American attitudes toward Iran, with Greenberg presenting the survey research he had done with fellow TIP pollster Neil Newhouse, and Luntz explaining the focus-group dial research in which he specializes, at a press conference I attended during the Democratic National Convention. And, particularly in Greenberg’s case, they flat out don’t like each other. From today’s D.C. Examiner report on Greenberg’s new book "Dispatches From the War Room":

No sooner than page 2, Greenberg lets Luntz have it, calling him “perhaps the epitome of the modern spinmeister, now almost a parody of himself.” He later calls Luntz the “master of obscurantism.”

The Examiner also got a response from Luntz:

We caught up with Luntz on Tuesday, who said Greenberg “probably knows more about the intricacies of polling methodology than any other pollster in America. But where he has slipped is in allowing his beliefs to affect his analysis.”

The Israel Project founder and president Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi said there’s been "creative tension" between the two men for years over which research methodolgy is best, and that they’ve always been divided by their "radically different political agendas." Greenberg is most famous for being Bill Clinton’s pollster, while Luntz came to fame as Newt Gingrich’s pollster for the "Contract for America."

Mizrahi said Greenberg and Luntz don’t work together for TIP and are rarely in the same room together. (And if I recall correctly, Greenberg did leave early that afternoon in Denver.)

In fact, Mizrahi said, the "only issue they agree on is Israel." And one other thing — "that I drive them nuts," said Mizrahi.

Greenberg doesn’t just rip Luntz, he also unloads on two other Jewish political pollsters, Mark Penn and Dick Morris, as well. He calls Morris a "slimy character" who "takes everything to the level of the absurd"and says about "Microtrends," Penn’s book, that "If I ever come to think of my work in such terms, then take me out and shoot me."

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