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U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) makes a point about his meeting with President Barack Obama regarding the country's debt ceiling, during a news conference at the Capitol in Washington May 12, 2011.   REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst   (UNITED STA
Republican Campaign Manager School is not an accredited university
This is pretty damn amazing. I hope you'll recall last week's freakout from the Mitch McConnell campaign, over a PPP poll that put the senator up just 47-43 on several different potential Democratic candidates, including actress Ashley Judd. Grunted McConnell's campaign manager:
On the first day of Republican Campaign Manager School, they teach us to ignore PPP polls. You see, PPP is a partisan Democrat polling firm, and they make their living giving the Democrat Party numbers they want to see.
Well guess what? McConnell himself just put out his own internal poll from Voter/Consumer Research in an effort to combat these obviously phony PPP numbers (yes, I'm rolling my eyes) ... and what did he find? That he's up ... 47-43 over Judd! Holy lord! Did they teach this in Republican Campaign Manager School, too? You know, screeching about unfair partisan polls, then being stupid enough to release private numbers that are identical? It sure seems so.

I definitely wouldn't have published this data if I were McConnell, though. If he's leading by only four points in a poll from a Republican firm, then that's certainly not good news for him. Also note that he didn't release head-to-heads against any other candidate, which can only encourage speculation that his performance is worse against other potential contenders. (I mean, if the numbers were "good"—at least by McConnell's warped definition, then he'd share them, right?)

The only positive news here for the Senate minority leader is that he holds a 51-40 job approval rating in this survey, compared to the abysmal 37-55 score PPP found. But even that silver lining comes with a touch of gray, because if he's ahead by four points with a -18 net approval (according to PPP), shouldn't his head-to-head advantage be even bigger if he actually sports a +11 net rating? Using PPP numbers, he can at least say, "Well, despite my awful approvals, I'm ahead by four points." With V/CR's data, he has to gulp and acknowledge, "Wow, I'm only up four points despite some pretty good approvals."

All that said, I'm not hugely optimistic about Democrats' chances to unseat McConnell. But I think he's in weak shape and is going to have to seriously grind this one out if he wants to serve another term. And win or lose, making Mitch McConnell's life miserable definitely counts as a success.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 01:17 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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