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."