The Washington Post today looked into Rand Paul’s efforts to build a national political operation as he gears up for a presidential campaign, and revealed that Paul had hired Fritz Wenzel to serve as his pollster:
For the rest of this year, his national team’s chief duties will be to take the lead in their respective states in planning fundraisers and meet-ups and helping Paul’s Washington-based advisers get a sense of where support is solid and where it’s not. This is especially important in key early primary battlegrounds, such as Iowa and New Hampshire, and in areas rich in GOP donors, such as Dallas and Chicago.
“A national leadership team is an important step, and it’s a critical one for the movement going forward,” said Fritz Wenzel, Paul’s pollster. “Rand has tremendous momentum, and the formation of this team will guide him as he gets closer to a decision and [will] serve as a foundation for a campaign.”
Wenzel runs Wenzel Strategies, the group behind several wildly inaccurate and conspiratorial polls, especially through its work as the polling arm for the far-right website WorldNetDaily. Wenzel’s group has:
- Suggested that a majority of Americans want Obama to be impeached over Benghazi.
- Said that most Americans were “despondent” over Obama’s re-election just two months after most Americans voted for him.
- Implied that Obama won re-election because Americans aren’t intelligent.
- Claimed polls showing Obama defeating Mitt Romney were unfairly skewed because most “survey interviews are conducted by college kids.”
- Insisted that Sarah Palin would be a viable candidate against Obama in a Democratic presidential primary.
- Consistently predicted that Todd Akin would win his Senate race in Missouri (he lost by 16 points), and tremendously overestimated Republican support in contested statewide races in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin (where Republicans all lost).
Since Rand Paul is trying to distance himself from his own and his father’s extremist views, tapping WorldNetDaily’s pollster is probably not a good start to his effort to rebrand himself as a serious Republican leader.