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