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Poll Position

NBC's Chuck Todd:

First Read has learned that the Clinton campaign has hired Democratic pollster Geoff Garin to do polling for the campaign. Garin and his firm has plenty of experience polling in the upcoming battlegrounds of Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Indiana.

The question becomes, of course: How does this impact pollster and chief strategist Mark Penn? Some in the campaign have been arguing for months that the chief strategist shouldn't be polling his own message ideas.

Garin, one of the most respected Dem pollsters in the country, is someone who will have instant credibility inside the campaign and -- more importantly -- with worried anti-Penn donors.

One shouldn't read too much into this: The idea seems to be that Garin will supplement, rather than replace, Penn as the campaign's pollster. Still, it's a pretty clear sign that Penn critics--within the campaign as well as outside of it--are finally being heard.

--Christopher Orr