Alex Gage responded with a Letter to the Editor at NRO:
Today’s unfortunate article written by Mark Hemingway concerning allegations over anti-Romney push-polling that suggests that TargetPoint Consulting was somehow involved is both inaccurate and inexcusable.
To set the record straight: TargetPoint Consulting has absolutely nothing to do with the calls in question. To be even clearer: TargetPoint Consulting has NEVER and will NEVER conduct a push-poll. TargetPoint is in the business of promoting Governor Romney, not manufacturing fantasy plots that involve smearing him.
It is very disappointing that the person who wrote this piece included the bizarre fabrication that perhaps the Romney campaign push-polled itself. As “proof,” the author offered up the supposed “fact” that TargetPoint Consulting may have in the past used Western Wats to conduct telephone interviews and concluding: “If there is a relationship between the two firms, then Alex Gage and TargetPoint should immediately clarify the extent and nature of the work that it has contracted out to Western Wats to end speculation and exonerate Romney.”
Neither I nor TargetPoint was contacted before publication of this piece. Not by email. Not by voice mail. If the person representing National Review had bothered to take this most basic journalistic step, we would have told him on the record that TargetPoint Consulting had nothing to do with this and that his theory was entirely erroneous and absent any merit. The truth would have dulled the sensationalism considerably – probably to the point that responsibility would have dictated not publishing it at all.
I am not sure what, if any, motives the author may have, but now that it has been published, this piece has unfairly smeared me, my firm and the Romney campaign.
We can only hope in the future that National Review will be more consistently involved in reporting the news, and not taking off on detours into the fever-swamps of loony conspiracies. If there is any mystery to be uncovered regarding these polls, it will be by real reporting and not irresponsible speculation that tramples the good names of reputable pollsters and polling firms.