Carr defends internal poll, won’t supply crosstabs

Former state Rep. Joe Carr (R-Lascassas) announces his U.S. Senate bid in January 2013.

Former state Rep. Joe Carr (R-Lascassas) is objecting to questions The Tennessee Journal raised in this week’s print edition about an internal poll conducted on behalf of his campaign for Rutherford County mayor.

We observed pollster Triton had included a line about 180 of 455 respondents from a list supplied by the client, with the remainder coming from the company’s own voter file (an unusual arrangement, according to other campaign consultants we consulted). We then noted that despite being the source of the list that generated 180 responses, only 144 out of the total sample backed Carr in the survey.

Carr says it’s unfair for us to have said his list was “handpicked,” saying he merely forwarded the entire Rutherford County voter database created by the local administrator of elections.

Triton told us its clients sometimes provide a list of contacts to invite to respond to its internal polls.

“To assess possible differences in the client list versus the standard voter file we obtain, we breakout the results on crosstabs so the results can be compared between the two list sources,” a company official told us in an email earlier this week. “That is the purpose for the variable you are seeing in the topline results.  Take a look at the crosstabs and you can review the differences between the list sources.”

Update: A company official confirms it received the Rutherford County voter file from Carr and used Republican-leaning individuals in its automated survey.

So we asked Carr to supply the crosstabs to show how many of the 180 respondents from the sample he supplied backed his bid compared with the responses from the remaining 275 people from the company’s voter file.

He declined.

“Your attempt to get the crosstabs to review the methodology appears to be nothing more than a ruse,” Carr wrote in an email.