The Pioneer Press – Tom Horner Poll Time Gap

The MN GOP in full on whine mode, trying to make a stink – while running up taxpayer expenses – out of what they consider to be privileged access to a poll by Independence Party Gubernatorial candidate, Tom Horner.

Luke Hellier’s latest on this over at Minnesota Democrats Exposed, states:

According to an affidavit obtained by MDE Horner was informed of the poll results in a private meeting with Bill Morris on Monday June 7. Which is a full day before the poll became partially public in the Saint Paul Pioneer Press.

As I read Luke’s accusations, he’s saying that the Pioneer Press published a story on the 8th, but Horner had the deets of the poll on the 7th. As I understand Luke’s math, he’s subtracting 7 from 8, which comes to one full day (if you’re willing to ignore the fact that days can be broken into smaller units such as hours).

But, let’s stick with Luke’s math. He likes integers because it allows him to make it sound like Horner was able to Drive to Chicago and back twice in the time between when he had access to this information and when the rest of the world did.

I went over to TwinCities.com to take a look at when the story was originally published to see if Luke was right. Unfortunately, I was reminded that the TwinCities.com website really sucks for things like reading news as I was hit with a drop down banner, followed by a pop-up window, followed by a non-working search engine, followed by a “story no longer available” message.

BUT, I did find that TwinCities.com was smart enough to outsource their comments to a more competent firm, Topix.com. On that site, you can still see the headlines, and you can see the comments that used to be associated with the story, but now reside in a world all their own. When I did this, I found this:

June 7th Comment on Tom Horner's Poll Piece

That there is the very first comment left on the Pioneer Press’ poll article that Luke is talking about. Take a close look at the date on that comment: June 7th. The next comment was also posted on June 7th. And the next. And the next. And the next. Five comments were posted to a story that didn’t yet exist, according to Luke Hellier’s statements on MDE.

So, using Luke Hellier and the MN GOP’s integer-preferred math, if I subtract June 7th from June 7th, I get zero. Clearly, there were zero days separating when Tom Horner knew about the poll results, and when the Pioneer Press’ story went live. Let’s look at Luke’s quote again:

According to an affidavit obtained by MDE Horner was informed of the poll results in a private meeting with Bill Morris on Monday June 7. Which is a full day before the poll became partially public in the Saint Paul Pioneer Press.

And a June 7th comment again:

June 7th Comment on Tom Horner's Poll Piece

June 7th minus June 7th equals zero days. NOT “a full day” as Luke Hellier states.

Luke, for your reader’s sake, could you try to be a bit more accurate with your accusations?

Update: To be clear, I’m not suggesting that Horner is in the clear. I’m just saying that Luke Hellier’s reporting isn’t accurate. Regarding Horner, it is interesting to see that he pulled the blog post from June 8th where he elaborated on the poll and mentioned things that were not mentioned in the Pioneer Press’ piece. Here’s a PDF of that from Google’s cache.

2 thoughts on “The Pioneer Press – Tom Horner Poll Time Gap”

  1. In 18 years in Minnesota, i can’t remember a single poll story that we’ve done that didn’t require telling the results to a candidate a day — full or otherwise — a day in advance so that their comments could be added to the story the next (full or otherwise) day.

  2. @Bob, that’s a good point. It would make a lot of sense to contact each of the candidates mentioned in the poll for a reaction. That being said, the article by Bill Salisbury (it’s still in Google’s cache) doesn’t include a quote from any of the candidates, or anything like, “Kelliher, Entenza, Emmer, or Horner refused to comment on the results of this poll” or “Candidates could not be reached in time for comment.” So while they probably did know about the poll before it was published, and that it had been conducted by Morris’ firm, and that Morris was making the full poll results available to all candidates, the article itself doesn’t reflect that candidates had been contacted.

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