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Griffith Polled Days Before Party Switch

In what may have been a final check of the political pulse of his north Alabama district before he made the final decision to switch parties, Rep. Parker Griffith commissioned a general election poll that was in the field just days before he joined the Republican Conference.

Griffith’s office confirmed Wednesday afternoon that the Congressman’s campaign had commissioned the poll and that the Congressman had seen the results of the survey before he made his announcement on Tuesday that he would leave the Democratic party. Griffith’s office declined to release the specific polling questions or the results of the survey.

Last week a left-leaning blog in Alabama reported that a survey was being conducted in Griffith’s Huntsville-based district and that the questions in the poll appeared to test a message that Griffith was less a Democrat and more an Independent.

Meanwhile the Alabama Democratic Party on Wednesday called on Griffith to return voter identification data that his consulting shop downloaded from the state party Monday evening, just hours before news of his party switch broke.

Chairman Joe Turnham said in a release Wednesday that the move was obviously intended to aid Griffith in his new role as a Republican candidate.

“The Democratic Party has spent untold sums of money building good data for elections and we make that data available to our Democratic candidates and officeholders,” Turnham said. “The party will consult with our attorney, and with authorities if necessary, to assess our remedy in these matters. If an apology is made and the data returned, we could consider moving on based on the goodwill of this season.”

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