McCain Hires Pollster McInturff

John McCain has re-hired Bill McInturff and his team at Public Opinion Strategies to conduct his polling.

Sen. John McCain, still rebuilding his presidential campaign after last summer’s near-bankruptcy and staff upheaval, has re-enlisted respected veteran Bill McInturff as his pollster.

McInturff, co-founder of the Republican firm Public Opinion Strategies, has been the Arizona senator’s pollster since the early 1990s and worked on his celebrated but short-lived 2000 Republican presidential-nomination campaign against George W. Bush. He was an early adviser to McCain’s 2008 campaign, but left last September when the candidate, broke, suspended polling through at least February.

Now that McCain has fought back to be the nominee, money is coming in and he is mobilizing a national campaign while Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama fight on for the Democratic nomination. McInturff’s move means he no longer will be the Republican co-director of the Wall Street Journal/NBC News polls with Democratic pollster Peter Hart. A partner at Mr. Hart’s firm, Geoff Garin, recently joined Clinton’s campaign and this week became a chief strategist.

Whether McCain will actually listen to polling advice is an open question.

In the interests of full disclosure, I should point out again that my wife is the Chief Operating Officer at Public Opinion Strategies. She runs the ops side of the business (human resources, information technology, physical plant, etc.) and isn’t involved in polling, aside from running some occasional dial groups.

The re-establishment of the McCain-POS relationship will have no impact on OTB’s coverage of the campaign. I’ve been critical of McCain and other POS clients quite often over the years. In terms of the likely McCain-Obama matchup in the Fall, barring major developments, I’ll continue to prefer McCain over either of the Democrats but analyze developments on an as-I-see-’em basis. And, of course, Alex and perhaps other co-bloggers will support Obama but provide fair analysis as well.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.