The Massachusetts primaries are fast approaching and a plethora of polling has been released recently for the Democratic Senate Primary, as well as primaries for the 1st and 4th Congressional districts. This afternoon, however, a poll from Gravis Marketing showed a result that did not reconcile with recent polling. The poll, which some national and regional writers picked up on and reported, was faked by two confirmed twitter accounts: @JohnMcCormackMA (Account has been deleted) and @Kilometerbryman (Account has been made private).
The first report about this fake poll came from Jessy Han, a cohost of the Cape Cod Cabin podcast. We spoke with Mr. Han and he relayed the facts to us: “I was sent the poll from a twitter user named “Speaker John McCormack”. He hinted to me that they had access to the poll and wanted someone to leak it yesterday, they sent it to me this afternoon and I published the results on my Twitter page. They went to extreme lengths to fabricate the numbers and cross tabs so I would believe them and even made fake graphics to go with it. The individual is an acquaintance of mine, so I gave him the benefit of the doubt.” The graphics and images Han mentioned can be found below.
@JohnMcCormackMA tweeted that he was behind the fake poll before deleting his account. However, @Kilometerbryman also tweeted two screenshots from his account before he would make his account private.
These two Twitter direct messages show @JohnMcCormackMA and @Kilometerbryman directly conspiring to release these fake polling numbers. We have no indication of any ulterior motives as no political affiliation could be derived from our investigation, other than largely irrelevant reports that @JohnMcCormackMA did have “Better dead than red” in his Twitter bio.
The @Kilometerbryman account also would release a series of tweets expressing his apology before making his account private:
This begs the question: what was their motive? These individuals used a young up and coming journalist in Mr. Han to leak their faked poll, causing both his and Gravis Marketing’s reputation to be harmed. Using a big name and accurate graphics, the fake polls spread like wildfire due to the highly competitive status of the races, which could have potentially impacted results had the veracity of the poll not been thrown into question.
The fake files can be found here: