In December, Public Policy Polling published some discouraging news for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.): the Republican's approval rating had dropped to just 37%, making him the least popular senator in the nation.
In response to the news, McConnell's campaign manager told supporters, "On the first day of Republican Campaign Manager School, they teach us to ignore PPP polls. You see, PPP is a partisan Democrat polling firm, and they make their living giving the Democrat Party numbers they want to see."
Five months later, PPP has discovered that Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) is in even worse shape, with an approval rating of 32%. And like McConnell in December, the Arizona Republican is responding to the news by blaming the messenger.
Responding to a survey from Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling that showed his popularity in the gutter, Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) on Monday questioned the accuracy of the pollster. [...]
"If we believed PPP polls," Flake told The Daily Caller's Matt Lewis, "I wouldn't be here at all."
It's not clear what Flake is referring to, exactly. PPP had Flake leading for much of his 2012 race, including a five-point margin shortly before Election Day, when he won by three. Flake would have lost if he believed PPP results? That doesn't make sense.
But more importantly, this is probably a good time for Republicans to realize that Public Policy Polling is a real outlet for credible survey results. The right lost this talking point last year when PPP had the best year of any pollster in the country -- which is more than can be said of Republican outlets like Rasmussen, which were among the worst.
If there was ever a time GOP officials could dismiss Public Policy Polling results as unreliable, that day has long since passed.