Political scientist Alan Abramowitz brings us some news about the notorious pollster:
In the past 12 months, according to Real Clear Politics, there have been 72 national polls matching Clinton with Trump—16 polls conducted by Fox News or Rasmussen and 56 polls conducted by other polling organizations. Here are the results:
Trump has led or been tied with Clinton in 44 percent (7 of 16) of Fox and Rasmussen Polls: 3 of 5 Rasmussen Polls and 4 of 11 Fox News Polls.
Trump has led or been tied with Clinton in 7 percent (4 of 56) polls conducted by other polling organizations.
To put it another way, Fox and Rasmussen together have accounted for 22 percent of all national polls in the past year but they have accounted for 64 percent of the polls in which Trump has been leading or tied with Clinton.
Using Pollster’s tool that allows you to calculate polling averages with different types of polls and polling organizations excluded:
Current Pollster average: Clinton +2.7
Removing Rasmussen and Fox News: Clinton +7.7
Live Interview polls only: Clinton +8.8
Live interview polls without Fox News: Clinton +9.2
I find it remarkable that simply removing Rasmussen and Fox changes the average by 5 points.
Hey—I remember Rasmussen! They’re a bunch of clowns.
Here are a couple of old posts about Rasmussen.
Rasmussen polls are consistently to the right of other polls, and this is often explained in terms of legitimate differences in methodological minutiae. But there seems to be evidence that Rasmussen’s house effect is much larger when Republicans are behind, and that it appears and disappears quickly at different points in the election cycle.
I was looking up the governors’ popularity numbers on the web, and came across this page from Rasmussen Reports which shows Sarah Palin as the 3rd-most-popular governor. But then I looked more carefully. Janet Napolitano of Arizona is viewed as Excellent by 28% of respondents, Good by 27%, Fair by 26%, and Poor by 27%. That adds up to 108%! What’s going on? I’d think they would have a computer program to pipe the survey results directly into the spreadsheet. But I guess not, someone must be entering these numbers by hand. Weird.
I just checked that page again and it’s still wrong:
What ever happened to good old American quality control?
But, hey, it’s a living. Produce crap numbers that disagree with everyone else and you’re gonna get headlines.
You’d think news organizations would eventually twig to this particular scam and stop reporting Rasmussen numbers as if they’re actually data, but I guess polls are the journalistic equivalent of crack cocaine.
Given that major news organizations are reporting whatever joke study gets released in PPNAS, I guess we shouldn’t be surprised they’ll fall for Rasmussen, time and time again. It’s inducing stat rage in me nonetheless.
If only science reporters and political reporters had the standards of sports reporters. We can only dream.