An NBC election poll showing Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump by 14 points has been described by one of the channel's own hosts as being "cooked" due to its timing.
Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough questioned why the NBC/WSJ poll had been taken in the midst of a scandal that saw Trump accused of misogyny after he suggested being famous allowed you to grope women.
The poll showed Clinton had jumped 14 points ahead of her Republican rival, and was up seven points on her own data from a week earlier – with numbers former Republican congressman Scarborough said were "strange".
"So last week, we were saying why didn't anybody take polls after debates, right? And they didn't for a long time," he said.
"This NBC-Wall Street Journal poll — we work here and we love working here, we love this place — they take the poll the second the crisis starts ... and they stop it right before the debate. It could not have been cooked more to get the result they got."
But his co-host Mika Brzeinski objected to the description "cooked", suggesting it was due to people "not thinking", Real Clear Politics reported.
Scarborough responded: "You cook it by the point you put it. It's just ridiculous to say, 'We're going to put this at the height of the scandal, and so they get a 14 point lead.' What do you expect?
"These numbers are basically strange, it is a very strange finding," he added.
Another poll by The Atlantic/PRRI from 11 October – one day after the NBC poll was released – also showed Clinton enjoying a double-digit lead on Trump, with 49 to his 38 points.
However, it was taken during a similar time period, with polls yet to show whether Trump's comments about women have had a long-lasting impact on his chances, and whether his debate performance affected his numbers.