Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Grant Olan behind PA poll leak?

I actually know this guy:
Steve Corbett, a radio talk show host in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, accidentally received a copy of an internal email sent by Grant Olin who heads the Wilkes-Barre headquarters of the Obama campaign. The email went to 627 Obama campaign volunteers in the Wilkes-Barre Scranton region, saying that Obama Headquarters reported an internal poll which shows that Obama is only 2 points up in Pennsylvania. Sean Smith, who is heading Obama's Pennsylvania campaign, was interviewed by Steve Corbett via phone at 5:35 today to discuss this. He said that Grant "went rogue", and aknowledged that Grant was "reprimanded" for this.
(Via Ace.) I'm finding it hard to believe Grant Olan (the correct spelling) "went rogue." He's a young lawyer from Chicago, about 29, intense, dark haired, a total True Believer in Obama.

I met Grant on the night of the North Carolina primary, which I liveblogged from the Obama campaign's Martinsburg, W.Va., headquarters. Late that night, the Obama crew went to a grocery store coffee shop to use their free Wi-Fi and file their nightly report on their canvassing effort. I spent a little time talking to Grant, who told me that he left his job at a law firm and took a substantial pay cut to work for the Obama campaign.

I next saw Grant in July in Wilkes-Barre, when I went to cover a McCain campaign event for Pajamas Media. Because I had difficulty logging onto the campaign's Wi-Fi system, I went to file my story at a coffee shop around the corner, where I ran into Grant. He was there doing a voter-registration event with his local Obama volunteers (I think they were trying to recruit more volunteers from the protesters who showed up at the McCain event). Again, we talked a while, and Grant told me a few stories about his canvassing experiences in the heart of Hillaryland (Luzerne County voted 3-to-1 for Clinton over Obama in the primary).

If Grant Olan released that internal polling data without authorization, I will bet it was because he was worried that Team Obama was taking Pennsylvania for granted. But if it's really a two-point race in Pennsylvania, the public polls have completely missed it -- six of the seven most recent polls show Obama leading by double digits.

However, Ed Rendell is reportedly worried, so maybe there's some kind of ginormous Bradley effect that the Obama campaign's internal polls caught, but the others didn't. Or maybe Grant Olan's just such a True Believer that a fit of Hope fever drove him into a state of paranoia. (Get well soon, man.)


  1. I'm tellin' ya, the public polls are cooked.

    Why believe an information product that has been produced to the specifications of ABC or Newsweek or whatever ax Zogby is grinding this week.

    I know you've been saying McCain has lost, and you may be right. I sure as hell won't argue if you said he has no reason to expect to win based on his campaign. At the same time, Obama is a very, very weak candidate by any standard measure and his VP pick is a near comical disaster.

  2. RSM,
    Do you actually read the DailyKos? I have subscribed to HuffPo, but I just couldn't make it any further left without spraining a joint or something.
    Made of stern stuff, you are.

  3. I am suspicious about this "supposed" leak. They have been running a very disciplined campaign, do you really believe they would be this careless this late in the game?

    Remember during the Primaries there was a leaked memo outlining the strategy they would use to defeat Hillary. The consensus back then was that the campaign "deliberately" leaked the information to throw off Hillary. I think its a trick.

    If I was the McCain Campaign I would keep on doing what is apparently working: Hammer Obama on the "spread the wealth" comment and Ayres and Biden's "gird your loins comment."