Politics USA: Rasmussen Polls That Show Mitch McConnell Ahead In KY Are Biased

In May 2012, Rasmussen Reports showed Romney beating Obama 50% to 42%.

Rasmussen released a poll of the Kentucky Senate race that showed Mitch McConnell leading Alison Lundergan Grimes 52%-44%.

In 2010, The New York Times also found Rasmussen polls biased, claiming:

“Moreover, Rasmussen’s polls were quite biased, overestimating the standing of the Republican candidate by almost 4 points on average. In just 12 cases, Rasmussen’s polls overestimated the margin for the Democrat by 3 or more points. But it did so for the Republican candidate in 55 cases — that is, in more than half of the polls that it issued.”

The Rasmussen poll that has Mitch McConnell leading Alison Lundergan Grimes by eight points comes with more than a few statistical red flags that should give anyone who bothered to look some serious cause for concern.

Rasmussen poll gave Mitch McConnell a positive job approval rating of a net (+2) 49%/47%. The same poll gave Grimes an unfavorable rating of a net (-4) 46%/50%

For the last few years, Mitch McConnell has been one of the least popular senators in the country, so any poll that shows McConnell with a positive approval rating is clearly oversampling Republicans.

The Rasmussen poll also has Mitch McConnell getting 24% support from Democrats, which Politics USA felt was high.

In both 2010 and 2012, Rasmussen was at the bottom of 538’s pollster rankings because of their high margin of error, and Republican bias. Rasmussen has had a margin of error as high as six points, and they have maintained a four-point bias towards Republicans.

Nate Silver determined that Rasmussen’s polls were off by 5.9 points and had a 3.9 point bias in favor of the Republican candidates in 2010:

“Polls branded as Rasmussen Reports missed by an average of 5.9 points and had a 3.9 point bias. The polls it commissioned on behalf of Fox News had a 5.1 point error, and a 3.6 point bias.

“Rasmussen showed Barack Obama’s disapproval rating at 36 percent, for instance, just a week after his inauguration, at a point when no other pollster had that figure higher than 20 percent.”

According to Politics USA:

“Another problem is that Rasmussen does not poll cell phone users. Instead of polling cell users, they use an online panel and landline phones to compile their data. The problem with not polling cell phone only users is that the poll leaves out younger voters who are more likely to support Democrats.”

Nate Cohn said this:

“Many of the surveys to date have been conducted by firms that use automated phone surveys and combine deficient sampling with baffling weighting practices….last week, one automated polling firm, Rasmussen Reports, released a survey of likely Georgia voters that was significantly younger than one would expect for a midterm election. A hefty 34 percent were 18 to 39, while voters over age 65 represented just 17 percent of likely voters….There were other peculiarities in the Rasmussen survey.

“Voters of some ‘other’ race — neither white nor black — represented 12 percent of the sample, which would smash the record 8.7 percent of voters who were of ‘other’ race in 2012. More realistically, ‘other’ voters might be expected to represent 5 to 7 percent of voters this November. On the other hand, just 24 percent of voters were black, a number likely to be too low.”

2 thoughts on “Politics USA: Rasmussen Polls That Show Mitch McConnell Ahead In KY Are Biased

    1. You may be right. Election night 2012 at Fox News was certainly entertaining…the long faces, etc…

      Bending the truth with the polls certainly doesn’t help their image, either. It can make them look like liars and propagandists.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s