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On Sunday, Ned Barnett wrote in The N&O that the governor’s race is virtually tied. Monday, I blogged that Roy Cooper is significantly ahead.

Question: Who should you trust?

Answer: Neither. We don’t know what we’re talking about.

Ned based his column on a PPP poll showing Cooper up by one point. My blog was based on a Marist/Wall Street Journal poll showing Cooper up seven.

I learned one important lesson from working in campaigns for nearly 40 years. If you’re not inside a campaign every day, seeing the internal polling and data, you don’t know what’s really happening.

Outside polls are interesting, and they can give you a general sense of things, if you look at the overall picture and know something about how to judge polls.

But nobody, especially the media, is spending the kind of money on polls and gathering the level of data the campaigns are.

And people inside the campaigns won’t tell you the truth.

If they’re leading, they don’t want to sound over-confident. If they’re losing, they lie.

And they’ll both say you need to give them more money.

 

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