Sarah Speaks: While Gilbert's campaign matters, Jon Ralston is right (again) about "Ludicrous Poll"
Several weeks ago the communications team from the Joey Gilbert campaign for Nevada Governor reached out to me to discuss a story which ran in Political.tips. After a long initial conversation and several follow ups with that group, I made the decision to cover Gilbert as a serious candidate. Part of my reasoning was due to the fact that this site does not engage in bias or gate keeping, but more importantly is my belief that Joey Gilbert and his supporters will play an outsized role in the 2022 GOP primary election. Simply put, no candidate has a more fervent, energetic, and fanatical following than Gilbert does, and no candidate among the Republican field seems more authentic in their convictions than Gilbert either. Gilbert's campaign has the highest ceiling of any of the current gubernatorial contenders and they are a significant threat to the conservative status quo.
However, despite the points made above, a headline which ran on this site yesterday about Gilbert and two other conservative candidates entitled, 'Outsiders no more? New poll shows lead for Joey Gilbert. Sam Brown; Sharelle Mendenhall make strides,' was reckless for me to write, although factually correct. The headline was based off a poll that is fatally flawed, if not completely fabricated. Jon Ralston, publisher of The Nevada Independent Newspaper and nationally esteemed commentator on all things political in the #WeMatter state, twice called out the the Liberty Watch Magazine survey, once on Twitter labeling it a "joke," and in his eponymous Ralston Reports Newsletter where he states plainly, "The poll seems made up. ..."
In my original story, I point out many problems with the Liberty Watch offering yet, still offered it up as the basis for my reporting. This was a mistake. Ralston himself presented a different set of numbers, this from OH Predictive Insights, which tell a more verifiable story. Ultimately, in a political arena beset with grift, fake news, and hucksterism, my duty as a writer is to help parse what is real vs. what isn't. Pay for play pretender Chuck Muth is associated with the poll in question and that alone should have stopped me from utilizing it. Moving forward I'll continue to cover Joey Gilbert, and his views, with the respect a major candidate should be afforded, but I won't base anymore headlines or accompanying stories off numbers potentially pulled from the air, the product of behind the scenes business dealings.