That is the sound you hear nowadays whenever you might mention the name Scott Rasmussen to any thumbsucking lefty politico.
Democrats are turning their fire on Scott Rasmussen, the prolific independent pollster whose surveys on elections, President Obama’s popularity and a host of other issues are surfacing in the media with increasing frequency.Well, if this isn't a good case of the pot calling the kettle....err...well you know.
The pointed attacks reflect a hardening conventional wisdom among prominent liberal bloggers and many Democrats that Rasmussen Reports polls are, at best, the result of a flawed polling model and, at worst, designed to undermine Democratic politicians and the party’s national agenda.
“I don’t think there are Republican polling firms that get as good a result as Rasmussen does,” said Eric Boehlert, a senior fellow with Media Matters, a progressive research center. “His data looks like it all comes out of the RNC [Republican National Committee].”Once again...waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! One of my personal political axioms is that if the Lebs are accusing the conservatives of doing something dastardly and untoward, then you can pretty sure that it is something that they are actually doing, and they are just trying to distract from that.
Again, from the left...
It’s not just the data that Rasmussen’s critics object to — they also have a problem with the way the firm frames questions in its automated polls....Now, does Rasmussen write his questions in a certain way that might be advantageous to one result over another. Perhaps. But the left should not get it's panties in a bunch pretending that this some newly invented idea from the angry right. Methinks they doth protest too much. Slanted questions have been a staple of MSM (i.e. Liberal) polls for a long time now. Or even worse slanted news coverage, which can then drive that opinion data.
Democratic pollster Mark Mellman believes Rasmussen designs its polling questions to elicit negative responses about Obama and Democrats — a sentiment that is widely shared in the liberal blogosphere.
“I think they write their questions in a way that supports a conservative interpretation of the world,” said Mellman. “In general, they tend to be among the worst polls for Democrats, and they phrase questions in ways that elicit less support for the Democratic point of view.”
Then there is the issue of sampling and screening...
Rasmussen, for his part, explained that his numbers are trending Republican simply because he is screening for only those voters most likely to head to the polls — a pool of respondents, he argues, that just so happens to bend more conservative this election cycle.Now sampling can be handled in a number of ways. If you want to know what President Obama's pure popularity is, then go to People Magazine for a poll that includes everyone and their kids. But if you want to know how President Obama might fare in the next election, then you (the DNC in particular) should only want to pay attention to those opinions of those who will actually go out and vote. This will give you the most realistic look at what might occur.
Polling all adults — a method used by Gallup, another polling firm that conducts a daily tracking poll of Obama — Rasmussen acknowledged, is “always going to yield a better result for Democrats.”
But critics note that the practice of screening for only those voters regarded as most likely to head to the polls potentially weeds out younger and minority voters — who would be more likely to favor Democrats than Republicans.
Alan Abramowitz, an Emory University political scientist, said there was “huge concern right now” that Rasmussen was polling a universe of largely conservative-minded voters.
However in thesetimes, MSM polls are not used to inform reader/viewer on public opinion, but rather shape that reader/viewer's opinion. Create a poll through slanted questions and desired over/undersampling, and you can present the public with the reality that you want them to have.
This is why Rasmussen is so upsetting. He is presenting something that differs from the approved MSM story line.
But then again...maybe. he. isn't.
UPDATE: Similar thoughts at the American Thinker...
Rasmussen also weights his results by party more realistically than most other pollsters, giving the GOP numbers in the upper 20's compared to other pollsters who peg GOP support in the low 20's.I believe that this whole liberal line of argument is similar to this:
Regardless of how you slice it, the president's numbers are falling dramatically. And complaining about the guy bringing you that bad news won't change the dynamics of the situation.