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Jim GallowayJim Galloway

A poll, and then an awkward sales pitch

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The problem with modern polling is that it has become so inexpensive (in relative terms) and commonplace, monetization of the work product has become difficult. And attempts to find new paths occasionally stray into awkward territory.

Matt Towery, CEO of InsiderAdvantage, is a former state lawmaker and longtime member of Georgia’s political scene. Just today, he collaborated with WAGA-TV on a U.S. Senate poll that puts Republican Karen Handel in second place – behind businessman David Perdue, but ahead of Jack Kingston.

A few weeks ago, Towery’s Atlanta polling outfit took the temperature of the Republican primary for House District 7:

An InsiderAdvantage survey of voters in Speaker David Ralston’s home district tells us that at least one Republican statewide figure is more than safe going into the 2014 election cycle. The non- partisan news poll pitting Ralston against his Republican primary opponent, Sam Snider, shows David Ralston leading his opponent by a 61%-to-26% margin, with very few likely voters (13%) in the district left undecided.

This morning, Towery’s office sent out this note to a host of Georgia lobbyists and others:

Friends,

InsiderAdvantage will go to press with its next issue of James magazine two days after the May 20th primary election. Based on our polling we expect Speaker David Ralston to win his campaign reelection effort handily. That said, his effort has been significant as numerous outside organizations have attempted to defeat him.

In our May issue we will be offering a select group of lobbyists, governmental affairs professionals, and other interested parties an opportunity to express publicly their appreciation for Speaker Ralston by congratulating him in the pages of James [magazine]. For $150 your name or firm can be listed in this congratulatory celebration of David Ralston’s reelection to office. Space for this special message is limited.

An emailed inquiry resulted in an indignant phone call from Towery, who accused this writer of “fly-specking.” Towery said his firm had no client when conducting the District 7 poll, and doesn’t intend to survey Ralston’s race again – so there was no conflict in any solicitation for advertising that followed.

“If we were going to poll this for a news organization, we would never have sent that out,” he said.

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