After a couple of days of investigating what happened with our poll, we don’t know anymore than we did when it began.
Basically, to recap, Monday afternoon we discovered someone inserted a code into our Kansas GOP U.S. Senate poll that voted for Jerry Moran every 10 seconds. We were kind of stunned that anyone would go to that length to influence an unscientific online poll. As we only have an online alias “LtCaptain“, with no ip address, email or other traceable information, we’ll probably never know who did it.
I spoke with Dan Conston at the Moran campaign about it, and he told me that nobody on their staff did it. I’m inclined to believe him, because if this was done by staff, then someone must be giving out free lobotomies. Most likely, it was done by someone who has too much time and no real social or professional life to speak of.
Why does this matter then? We said that the poll itself was a meaningless tool to gauge real support for each candidate. What we wanted to know was how campaigns use new media to mobilize support. Instead, what we were able to see, once again, is how ugly and petty this Senate race has become. That matters more than any poll. Polls come and go, but the stink tends to linger for a long time.
We’d urge all involved or observing not to treat this as a scandal though, because it probably isn’t. There probably aren’t any “gotcha” moments to be found, or conspiracies to uncover. We’re pretty good at spotting these things. More than anything else, I’m mad at the polling part of this blog going down for a few hours over this. To say this was part of some sinister plan by the Moran campaign is a stretch to say the least.
We’ve moved on to real issues, and we hope others do as well.