Sen. Harry Reid asserted on Thursday that one of the most frequently cited outlets for state and national polling numbers is “the worst.”
During a conference call with reporters Thursday, RealClearPolitics reporter James Arkin asked the senator to respond to polls that showed former Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Mastro trailing in the race to replace the retiring Reid in the Senate.
“All of them are wrong,” Reid responded, referring to polls RCP includes in its aggregator. “Rather than doing your own stuff, all you do is average out all these bad polls.”
He added that “RealClearPolitics is totally unimpressive to me” and called the site “one of the worst.”
But if RealClearPolitics Executive Editor Carl Cannon was particularly bothered by Reid’s comment, he didn’t express it publicly.
In an email to Business Insider, Cannon noted Reid’s often outspoken nature and lauded his candor.
“I’m reminded of Harry Reid’s own description of his approach to public discourse, which he once explained to a beleaguered aide this way: ‘My mouth works faster than my brain. And it just comes out.’ I think that explains why many of us in the media will miss Sen. Reid when he retires. At least he’s colourful,” Cannon said.
While Reid argued that many public polls underestimated his chances at winning his 2010 reelection, the executive editor also pointed out that RCP was far from the only outlet whose data did not correctly predict the results of that particular race.
“As to the merits of his point about the polling in 2010 Senate race, it’s true that most pollsters got that race wrong. But not all. In the interest of giving credit where it’s due, the polling outfit that got it right was the Suffolk University Political Research Center,” Cannon said.
RealClearPolitics was the subject of Reid’s ire on Thursday, but the outlet is far from the only target of Reid’s scorn this election cycle.
Last month, the majority leader lashed out at CNN reporter Manu Raju after he asked Reid why Hillary Clinton appeared to be slipping in many state and national polls.
“You keep going back to your numbers. They’re not fair, they’re not reliable,” Reid said.
“I don’t buy your silliness, with your $500 polls you go out and buy overnight,” he added. “I don’t believe them, they’re not right, they’re incorrect. You only do it to generate some news.”
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