Hot Air Exclusive*: Reince Priebus on polling, the election, and the Benghazi attack
posted at 1:21 pm on September 26, 2012 by Ed Morrissey
Earlier today, I spoke with RNC chair Reince Priebus about the prospects for the presidential election in an exclusive* interview for Hot Air. We not only discussed what the RNC and Team Romney intend to do with their fundraising advantage in the general election, but we also discussed the foreign-policy debacles of Barack Obama, especially over the last two weeks. “He’s a man of many words,” Priebus tells me, but not “a man of his word.” Priebus also slammed Obama for “shooting first and aiming later” on the first official narrative of the Benghazi attack, only to be caught fumbling when the claim that the attack was a spontaneous protest that spun out of control later proved false. Priebus also wondered why Obama’s “unique background,” which he claimed in 2008 would improve relations with Muslim nations, hasn’t prevented our embassies and consulates from being set on fire:
Later, we discuss the big cash advantage of the Republicans in the general election, and what it means for the race. “We can do everything we need to do,” Priebus says, and promises a large GOTV ground effort with plenty of funding — a big change from 2010, when the RNC was largely irrelevant to turnout efforts due to poor fundraising and fiscal management.
The turnout models also came up for discussion, as the polls this week look bleak in Ohio and Florida. Priebus didn’t want to “whine” about pollsters, but we used Jim Geraghty’s analysis of the CBS/NYT/Quinnipiac polls to underscore how ridiculous the turnout assumptions have become. I asked Priebus whether the D+9 in both Florida and Ohio had a resemblance to what he’s seeing on the ground, and he scoffed. Those outstrip the 2008 turnout models (especially Florida’s), and Priebus says that “even my friends at the DNC” expect the 2012 turnout models to fall well short of the 2008 election. The key, Priebus says, is “to win today, to win tomorrow, to win the week, and to win the debates.”
Team Romney also scoffed at the polls today:
Ed Gillespie, a senior advisor to the Romney campaign, delivered some complaints on Wednesday on Fox News’ Fox & Friends, saying that the polls “are not consistent with our polling.”
“I’m struck by a couple of things,” he said. “One, three swing state polls out today and in every single one of them, they have a Democratic voter participation that is higher than the participation in the electorate in 2008. I don’t know anyone on the ground in any of these swing states who believes that there will be a higher Democratic percentage of the electorate in 2012 than there was in 2008.”
He added: “Yet, in every single one of these surveys, there is a higher percentage — which explains, by the way, how it is that the Governor Romney, could be tied or leading with independents in those polls and yet losing the net poll to President Obama. Does not make sense.”
Be sure to watch the whole interview.
* – Using media definition of “exclusive,” which is that no one else was on the call at the time.