A poll released Thursday brought historically bad numbers for Republicans, but it also marked the return of a conservative faction largely unseen since the 2012 campaign.
The latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found an all-time low approval rating for the GOP, but some on the right have sought to “unskew” the numbers.
According to NBC’s Mike O’Brien, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who engaged in his own bit of unskewing earlier this week, noted that the poll was “heavily weighted with an awful lot of Democrats”:
Cruz goes #unskew. Asked about NBC/WSJ numbers, he says: “I’ll note that that poll was very heavily weighted with an awful lot of Democrats”
— Mike O’Brien (@mpoindc) October 11, 2013
Forty-three percent of the poll’s respondents identified as Democrats while 32 percent identified as Republicans, but partisan compisition is something that constantly fluctuates.
Still, Cruz wasn’t the first person on the right to express skepticism toward the poll. National Republican Senatorial Committee spokesman Brad Dayspring pointed out on Twitter that the poll’s composition differed from the 2012 electorate:
Re: NBC/WSJ Poll – note that party ID on sample was +11 Democrat. Party ID for ’12 electorate was +8 Democrat. Just pointing out a fact.
— Brad Dayspring (@BDayspring) October 11, 2013
Jim Geraghty, a correspondent for the conservative National Review, conceded that the numbers brought “largely bad” news for the GOP, but also said that the NBC/WSJ poll’s sample looked “iffy.” In a column published Friday, Geraghty highlighted highlighted that 14 percent of the poll’s sample is not registered to vote.
“I’d love to see the crosstabs of how this sub-sample feels about what’s going on in Washington,” he wrote.
The conservative website PJ Media likewise ran a post noting “a statistical problem with that much-cited NBC/WSJ poll that shows Republicans are getting whooped in the shutdown.”
Republicans and conservatives repeatedly questioned polls taken during the 2012 campaign that showed President Barack Obama with leads over Mitt Romney. The so-called “poll trutherism” reached an apex when a conservative activist named Dean Chambers launched the now-defunct website, UnSkewedPolls.com