Rachel Maddow Discusses Free Beacon Nevada Poll, Promotes Free Beacon Store

February 12, 2016

Rachel Maddow discussed the Washington Free Beacon's poll of the Nevada Democratic caucus Friday evening. Maddow made mention of the poll's concerning results for Hillary Clinton, but understandably spent much of her time promoting the Free Beacon's excellent online store.

RACHEL MADDOW: There just aren't going to be a lot of polls, or any polls. Which is why everybody got very excited today when word broke that there was a new poll of the Democratic presidential race in Nevada. And then there were the results, those were headline-worthy as well. Bernie sanders tied with Hillary Clinton in Nevada at 45%. Wow, tied. That's big news, maybe.

Here are some things you should probably know about this poll that nobody was expecting. The outfit that commissioned this poll is a very, very conservative website called the Washington Free Beacon. If you go to their online store, just for a little flavor here, you can buy, for example, Washington Free Beacon tactical vests.

You can also buy a walker that says ‘I stole this from Hillary.’ That's nice. You can buy t-shirts that have pictures of George W. Bush on them that say ‘Greatest Living President, Fantastic Painter.’

That's who paid for the poll. And the group who did the poll, it's a group called Target Point. They are a Republican company. This is their client page on their website: Bush-Cheney, RNC, the Republican Governor's Association, Mitt Romney.

Also, Target Point has no real track record on public polling. One thing you look to see if a new poll you've never heard of to see if it's legit, one thing you look at, you look at their methodology and their track record has been borne out over the years. For Target Point, there's no numbers over the years. There's no public polling trail to follow. There's just this poll. Just the one. Isn't it kind of weird, if you think about it, that it's only a Democratic poll?

I mean, it's a conservative website hiring a Republican company to poll the Democratic race. Just the Democratic race? Not the Republican race that will happen in the same state three days later. Weird right?

We called the polling company today to ask them when we could expect their Nevada polling results from the Republican field because truly they must have done that too. They told us we can expect those results on the "15th of Neveruary." [Laughs] They told us they're not going to be releasing their Republican results because they didn't conduct any Republican polling. They said they didn't conduct any Republican polling because their client, the Washington Free Beacon with the website with the selling the tactical vests and the Hillary Clinton walkers and the W t's.

The Free Beacon, they told us, said they didn't request a Republican poll. They didn't want it. They only wanted Democratic numbers, which is interesting. So, why on earth would a far right conservative website have a Republican firm poll Nevada's Democrats in a race that's seen as impossible to poll? They couldn't possibly be trying to influence that race, could they? Or trying to influence perceptions of that race? I don't know.