Last night on the show, Rachel asked who might be behind the mysterious robopolling in New Hampshire, the one Dave Weigel reported asks about former Florida Governor Jeb Bush against President Obama in a hypothetical 2012 election. Since Jeb Bush has said he isn't running for anything, why is his name popping up in polls? Who would want to know the answer to that question?
Thanks to the sleuthing of James Carter, we can now tell you the answer: Purple Strategies, a political communications firm. Director Doug Usher tells us that yes, it's his firm. Purple Strategies looks at the 12 swing states that it believes holds the key to the 2012 election. In this month's PurplePoll (pdf), they threw in Jeb Bush.
Republicans have been asking whether Jeb Bush might step in as a last-minute candidate, despite his saying he won't run this year. Based on the results of the PurplePoll, it might be just as well for Mr. Bush. "This idea that Jeb Bush could come marching in and beat Obama is just not true," Mr. Usher tells us. He says his firm does do polling for hire, but this one they just do for themselves, for fun and for the public service of it. No one commissioned this poll, he says.
In addition to being kind of mysterious, the PurplePoll turns out to have some fascinating data about the state of the election. Much more on the show tonight. Meanwhile, big props to James Carter.