Here’s the first thing I don’t understand about the Times poll showing Alex Sink +7

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The findings of the latest poll of the special election in Congressional District 13 commissioned by the Tampa Bay Times is completely unsurprising to those of us who believe the newspaper will stop of nothing — including cooking poll results — to see Alex Sink elected to Congress.

That’s not me being conspiratorial, at least not entirely. But the powers-to-be at the Times realize that the best result for their preferred candidate was for Sink to be leading and to be leading outside the margin of error.

If the poll had found Jolly leading Sink, alarms would have gone off from St. Petersburg to D.C. and the national Democratic establishment would have mobilized every resource at its disposal to fight for Sink.

If the poll had found Sink leading Jolly, but within the margin of error, that would have given comfort to Jolly’s supporters and motivated them to work even harder to elect their guy.

But Sink leading Jolly outside of the margin of error … well, that’s just what Sinkworld wanted to see. It’s not so large a lead as to cut off their D.C. money spigot, but it may give Jolly’s donors pause before investing any more money into his campaign.

As Republican strategist Rick Wilson tweeted this morning, “Yes, this is me venting to a SuperPAC client who keeps dithering over #FL13. ;)”

Unfortunately for Jolly, this poll may have more than Wilson’s clients dithering over what to do … which is exactly what Sink and the Times want to see. 

Don’t believe the Times cooks the numbers? Then answer this: Why did it take six days for Braun Research to get a sample of 603 respondents? That’s just 100 respondents per night. What is Braun Research working with, a phone book and a rotary phone? 

Remember, the Times could have polled several times and decided that this poll, the one showing Sink +7, is the one it wanted to publish.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.