Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Santorum blames "hack" pollster for sinking PA numbers

Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, appearing on Fox News Sunday, lashed out at Franklin & Marshall College Poll director G. Terry Madonna, calling him a "Democratic hack" to explain why his lead in the April 24 Republican primary for president here has dropped from 29 percentage points in February to a mere 2 percentage points last week.

Santorum blames "hack" pollster for sinking PA numbers

Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, appearing on Fox News Sunday, lashed out at Franklin & Marshall College Poll director G. Terry Madonna, calling him a "Democratic hack" to explain why his lead in the April 24 Republican primary for president here has dropped from 29 percentage points in February to a mere 2 percentage points last week. 

Santorum also blamed the media and the Republican "establishment" for pressing a theme that he should drop out of the race and support the front-runner, former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney.

"The Democratic hack who does that, Terry Madonna, has probably singularly gotten more polls wrong than any other person I know in the history of the state," Santorum responded when host Chris Wallace cited the poll and asked if he would have to drop out of the race if he lost Pennsylvania. 

Santorum, claiming that two other polls that he did not identify show him leading in Pennsylvania, continued on about Madonna, saying: "This is a pollster who just… I think he just draws numbers out of hat sometimes. We feel very good about Pennsylvania. We’re going to do exceptionally well there.”

Madonna, who conducts the poll for the Philadelphia Daily News and other media outlets in the state, responded by calling Santorum's claim "simply untrue" and vowing the he would not be "cowed into silence by him."

Madonna writes a political column in which he makes judgments but added, "I don't do any work for political candidates and don’t contribute to candidates or parties. Since I first set up my center at Millersville University in 1986, I have scrupulously avoided any hint of partisanship."

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Chris Brennan, a native Philadelphian and graduate of Temple University, joined the Daily News in 1999. He has written about SEPTA, the Philadelphia School District, the legalization of casino gambling, state government, the mayor, the governor, City Council and political campaigns. E-mail tips to brennac@phillynews.com
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Jenny DeHuff is a 2005 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she cut her teeth in journalism. A South Philly transplant from New England, she joined the Daily News City Hall Bureau in 2013. For the past several years, she has worked as an investigative reporter exposing corruption in suburban politics, covering sometimes ghastly criminal court cases and following the people’s money and how its spent. In addition to being a dogged news hound, she enjoys reading and writing about travel, animals, Irish whiskey and aviation. E-mail tips to dehuffj@phillynews.com
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Sean Collins Walsh is from Bucks County and went to Northwestern University. He joined the Daily News copy desk in 2012 and now covers the Nutter administration. Before that, he interned at papers including The New York Times, The Dallas Morning News and The Seattle Times. E-mail tips to walshSE@phillynews.com
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