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Shock National Journal Poll: Romney Staffers Think Romney Should be GOP Nominee

Earlier today National Journal released its latest poll of the opinions of Beltway insiders.   According to the National Journal news story about the new poll, entitled “Insiders: GOP Would Be Better Off With Romney for 2012,” many GOP insiders think Romney is a much better candidate than Rick Perry.  What National Journal failed to inform its readers is that at least 30 of the 141 GOP operatives polled — nearly 25 percent of the GOP sample — currently work for Romney or worked for his 2008 presidential campaign.  Only one insider was readily identified in a Google search as being a member of Team Perry.

According to National Journal, many of those insiders “questioned [Rick Perry's] ability to win over independent voters.”  But what did those Beltway insiders think of Romney?  “Insiders identified Romney’s business background, his veteran campaign team, and his appeal to moderate voters as key general election strengths.”  It should come as no surprise that those who have been on Romney’s payroll (or made the payroll possible) are supportive of his campaign.  And it should come as no surprise that Romney’s veteran campaign staffers think they are awesome, even though they lost in 2008.

Insiders polled by National Journal include current Romney campaign pollster Neil Newhouse, as well as three current high-dollar fundraisers:  Wayne Berman, David Tamasi, and Eric Rosenblatt — all lobbyists.  The 26 other Romney insiders polled by National Journal, including spokesman Kevin Madden, political director Carl Forti, and deputy campaign manager Jason Roe, all held high-ranking positions during Romney’s 2008 presidential run.

Are these individuals at fault for likely supporting someone who hired them?  Absolutely not (disclosure: there is no proof that these individuals told National Journal that they thought Romney was a better candidate than Perry, but it is not at all a stretch to assume that the past or current affiliations of these 30 individuals might be a factor in their answers, significantly skewing the overall results, especially when only one obvious Perry supporter is included on National Journal’s list).

The real fault lies with National Journal for failing to disclose any of the 30 potential conflicts-of-interest to its readers.  Why would it refuse to be transparent about the biases or underlying motivations of its polled insiders?  It’s pretty simple:  National Journal and its Beltway-centric competitors thrive on access to current establishment insiders.  It is no secret that many publications provide puff pieces and helpful story lines in exchange for access to plugged-in sources.

The real news in this latest poll is not that powerful Republicans think Romney is the best candidate, but that Romney appears to be the best hope Beltway lobbyists and has-been Hill leadership staffers have of retaining their easy access to the halls of power in Washington.

The full list of easily identifiable past and present Romney partisans included in the insiders poll can be found below.

Name Campaign Role Year
Wayne Berman Fundraiser 2012
Neil Newhouse Pollster 2012
David Tamasi Fundraiser 2012
Eric Tanenblatt Fundraiser 2012
Rich Ashooh Fundraiser 2008
Jeff Buley Lawyer 2008
Al Cardenas Chairman – National Hispanic Steering Committee 2008
Alex Castellanos Media Strategist 2008
Cesar Conda Adviser 2008
Debi Durham Surrogate – Iowa 2008
Mindy Finn Chief Online Strategist 2008
Carl Forti Political Director/Deputy Campaign Manager 2008
Alex Gage Data Cruncher 2008
Bruce A. Gates Fundraiser 2008
Benjamin Ginsberg National Counsel 2008
Doug Gross Campaign Chairman – Iowa 2008
Steve Lombardo Adviser 2008
Kevin Madden Campaign Spokesman 2008
Jim Merrill State Director – New Hampshire 2008
Phil Musser Adviser 2008
David Norcross Campaign Co-Chairman – New Jersey 2008
Van B. Poole Fundraiser – Florida Finance Committee 2008
Tom Rath Senior National Adviser 2008
Jason Roe Deputy Campaign Manager 2008
Russ Schriefer Media Strategist 2008
Rick Shelby Fundraiser 2008
Terry Sullivan Adviser – South Carolina 2008
Warren Tompkins Adviser – South Carolina 2008
Jan van Lohuizen Pollster 2008
Mike Murphy Adviser 2006
Name Campaign Role Year
Wayne Berman Fundraiser 2012
Neil Newhouse Pollster 2012
David Tamasi Fundraiser 2012
Eric Tanenblatt Fundraiser 2012
Rich Ashooh Fundraiser 2008
Jeff Buley Lawyer 2008
Al Cardenas Chairman – National Hispanic Steering Committee 2008
Alex Castellanos Media Strategist 2008
Cesar Conda Adviser 2008
Debi Durham Surrogate – Iowa 2008
Mindy Finn Chief Online Strategist 2008
Carl Forti Political Director/Deputy Campaign Manager 2008
Alex Gage Data Cruncher 2008
Bruce A. Gates Fundraiser 2008
Benjamin Ginsberg National Counsel 2008
Doug Gross Campaign Chairman – Iowa 2008
Steve Lombardo Adviser 2008
Kevin Madden Campaign Spokesman 2008
Jim Merrill State Director – New Hampshire 2008
Phil Musser Adviser 2008
David Norcross Campaign Co-Chairman – New Jersey 2008
Van B. Poole Fundraiser – Florida Finance Committee 2008
Tom Rath Senior National Adviser 2008
Jason Roe Deputy Campaign Manager 2008
Russ Schriefer Media Strategist 2008
Rick Shelby Fundraiser 2008
Terry Sullivan Adviser – South Carolina 2008
Warren Tompkins Adviser – South Carolina 2008
Jan van Lohuizen Pollster 2008
Mike Murphy Adviser 2006

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