Sabrin claims endorsement of newspaper publisher dead since 1957

Murray Sabrin, who has anointed himself the “front runner” in the race for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination, issued a press release today announcing “Gannett endorses Sabrin for U.S. Senate.” Sabrin doesn’t mean the Gannett that operates seven dailies in New Jersey – instead, he argues that the late Frank Gannett (1876-1957), who founded the newspaper chain, would have supported his candidacy. Sabrin says there is a “striking similarity between Frank Gannett's political philosophy” and his campaign to Legalize Freedom. Gannett sought the Republican nomination for President in 1940.

This is the latest shot in a feud between Sabrin and Asbury Park Press managing editor Gary Schoenling over a Gannett poll showing Sabrin the front runner trailing Dick Zimmer by twenty percentage points.

"As the employer of thousands of families throughout New Jersey, I would like to see the Gannett operation expand its circulation, readership and revenue. My recommendation would be for the editorial staff to return to the roots of its Founder instead of an expansive liberal philosophy,” said Sabrin. "Frank Gannett would be extremely disappointed in the direction its editorial pages have taken over the years."

Read the e-mail from Schoening to Sabrin on the Gannett poll:

From: Schoening, Gary []
Sent: Wednesday, May 21, 2008 5:00 PM
Cc: Mitchell, Everett J.; Paolino, Charles; Grzella, Paul; Flachsenhaar, James; Nutt, Charlie; Bergmann, Randy
Subject: Monmouth University-Gannett Poll

Gentlemen, I'd like to set the record straight about the candidate's comments about the Monmouth University/Gannett New Jersey Poll in the Gannett New Jersey debate the other day.

In our view, the poll had scientific validity and its intent was clear to those who participated.

The sample size was 230, not the 160 or 170 the candidate cited in the debate. This sample has a margin of error of +/-6.5%. Sabrin was 20 points behind Zimmer in the poll, and even if we were at the edges of that margin, that makes the claim that he is the front-runner (which to any reasonable person's interpretation means he's winning the race) specious.

As to whether the respondents were likely voters, Sabrin said "we don't know" whether they were likely voters. Actually, we do know – they are not. This was not a poll to predict the June 3 primary. Rather, it was clearly a measure of sentiment among all registered voters who identify with the Republican party as to whom they would like to see nominated.

Specifically, the poll did not ask "Who will you vote for on June 3?" but rather "Who would you like to personally see as the Republican candidate?" This question was accurately measured in the MU/GNJ poll.

This is not meant to prolong the discussion of this issue, merely to let you know the position of the Gannett New Jersey newspapers.

Gary Schoening
Managing Editor
Asbury Park Press Sabrin claims endorsement of newspaper publisher dead since 1957