Now that Obama and Edwards have taken the lead on the Hillary-bashing front, it’s time for the GOPers to find a new target…but where to look? Oh, how about each other? Yay! It’s finally push-poll time.

Everyone has been wondering which Republican is going to start with the anti-Mormon attacks, and with Romney’s lead climbing in Iowa and New Hampshire, the answer is finally here…it’s an unnamed mystery Republican.

Politico’s Jonathan Martin reports on what IA and NH voters are hearing in apparent push polls:

“Statements were on baptizing the dead, the Book of Mormon being on the level of the Bible, and one about equating it to a cult,” said the Iowan, deeming them “common criticisms of Mormonism.”

Of course, legitimate research polls can test positive and negative statements about the candidates, but a push poll goes over the line, making outlandish statements that are clearly for the purpose of slander, not research. It’s hard to say without actually hearing the phone call, but this certainly sounds more like a “push” than a “poll.” CBS has a good explanation of the difference between the two.

There is some speculation that McCain’s campaign could be the source of the calls, because the poll also reportedly tests positives on him. This is pretty hard to believe, since McCain, himself the victim of infamous push polls in 2000, has based so much of his career on chastising this kind of politics.

In an effort to make it clear that it isn’t them, McCain’s campaign has called for a full investigation into who’s behind the attacks.

AP further investigates, seeing if the poll can be tied a consultant who works for Giuliani, a theory the consultant strongly denies.

So who is it? Sadly, we’ll probably never know. The only thing that’s clear is we’re headed into the campaign’s dirty season.

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