NBC/WSJ Pollster Leaked Findings to Hillary in Effusive Email – Washington Free Beacon
BY: Follow @FBillMcMorris
December 3, 2015 5:00 am
The man who helps produce one of the most influential polling operations in the country leaked poll results to Hillary Clinton’s team in an effusive email, according to newly released records from the State Department.
Peter Hart, founder of Hart Research, sent an email to a Clinton staffer as she prepared to end her term as secretary of state. He advertised the email as “Sensational Clinton Numbers coming tonight on NBC/WSJ survey.” The email highlighted her favorability ratings after overseeing foreign policy during President Obama’s first term.
“We will be releasing a special early set of numbers on the performance of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Her approval rating is 69% and disapproval is 25%,” Hart said. “Comparing to all the other Secretaries where there are numbers on approval—she ranks higher than Henry Kissinger, John Foster Dulles, and George C. Marshall. Only Colin Powell had a higher score. Congratulations!!!”
Hart’s firm conducts polling for NBC and the Wall Street Journal and has been involved in covering the 2016 presidential race. He conducted a focus group in Ohio with swing voters in November that was composed of half Democrats and half Republicans and independents. He highlighted his belief that voters see Clinton as someone with a “titanium backbone” who is “always trying to serve.”
“She’s the stepmom, always having to prove herself, the hostess, always trying to serve,” Hart told the Wall Street Journal.
Hart made no secret of his admiration for Clinton in his communications with her staffers, which were released by the State Department as part of the Nov. 30 dump of thousands of emails stored on Clinton’s private server.
A State Department staffer relayed to Hart that he had shown Clinton the emails joking that “she needs to hit her head more often!” Hart made no secret of his admiration for Clinton in his reply, noting that the agency would have to overcome significant obstacles with her successor.
“The True answer: Four years and 1 million miles = a grateful nation,” he said in reference to Clinton’s foreign policy accomplishment of frequently boarding aircraft. “For your knowledge—until Kerry gets your help–he arrives with (31% positive and 27% negative).”
Hart partners with Republican pollster Bill McInturff to produce the NBC/WSJ poll. Neither Hart nor the Wall Street Journalresponded to requests for comment, while an NBC spokesman refused to answer questions about the leak or the firm’s ability to objectively poll the race given his effusive messages to Clinton’s team.
Hart retains a clientele of powerful Democratic politicians, as well Super PACs including Priorities USA, House Majority PAC, and the Senate Majority PAC. It also boasts many liberal power players including Planned Parenthood, La Raza, several environmentalist groups, and nearly a dozen labor unions such as AFL-CIO, the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, and the American Federation of Teachers.
Hart wrote the country had warmed to Clinton since her failed presidential run in 2008 in his email.
“Five years ago (March ’08) her personal feeling thermometer was 37% positive and 48% negative, today it is 56% positive and 25% negative,” he said.
“Pls print,” Clinton instructed an aide when Hart’s email reached her.
Clinton’s favorability has plummeted since Hart’s email.
An October NBC/WSJ poll found that Hillary was the least likable candidate aside from Donald Trump with 44 percent of respondents reporting “negative feelings” toward her. A Quinnipiac Poll released Wednesday finds that 51 percent of registered voters view Clinton unfavorably and 60 percent describe her as untrustworthy.