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Gilmore Responds to Poll

Tim Craig

Dick Leggitt, a senior strategist for GOP Senate candidate James S. Gilmore III, distributed a memo today disputing the findings of a Washington Post-ABC News poll showing Democratic candidate Mark R. Warner with a 30-point lead.

In the memo, Leggitt said the Washington Post is attempting "to influence the U.S. Senate election."

"Don't be discouraged or disheartened by the Post's attempt to influence the U.S. Senate election," Leggitt wrote. "It is after all, the Washington Post. Their coverage is pro-Democrat, pro-Obama and pro-Mark Warner."

Leggitt references a Washington Post poll in September preceding the 1997 election, when Gilmore was running for governor. The poll showed Gilmore drawing 38 percent of the vote in his race against Democrat Donald S. Beyer.

"On Election Day when the voters finally had their say, Jim Gilmore won the election with 56 percent of the vote," Leggitt wrote.

The final Washington Post poll of that race, conducted in October 1997, had Gilmore leading Beyer by a margin of 48 percent to 41 percent.

Nevertheless, Leggitt's letter isn't a bad strategy for trying to rally the GOP base behind Gilmore because many conservatives don't trust the media.

Leggitt's full letter can be found below.

To: Jim Gilmore for Senate Supporters
From: Dick Leggitt, Campaign Manager
Date: September 24, 2008
Re: Washington Post Poll

You may have seen or heard of the new Washington Post poll which shows Mark Warner with a 30-point lead - very similar to the Washington Post poll taken almost a year ago. Do not be discouraged or disheartened by the Post's attempt to influence the U.S. Senate election. It is, after all the Washington Post. Their coverage is pro-Democrat, pro-Obama and pro-Mark Warner and voters who have watched the Post's unfair coverage of Republicans including John McCain, Sarah Palin and Jim Gilmore know this.

Please remember that in late September of 1997, the Washington Post poll indicated that Jim Gilmore was getting 38 percent of the vote in the race for Governor of Virginia. On Election Day when the voters finally had their say, Jim Gilmore won the election with 56 percent of the vote! Don't let the media and the pollsters decide this election. The most important thing you can do to combat the Washington Post poll is to remind your family, friends and associates to vote for John McCain, Sarah Palin and Jim Gilmore.

Thank you.

By Tim Craig  |  September 24, 2008; 2:03 PM ET
Categories:  Tim Craig  
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