The Demise of the Rasmussen Report, From Most Accurate to Least Accurate Poll

The Demise of the Rasmussen Report, From Most Accurate to Least Accurate Poll

After the 2004, 2008 and 2010 Elections, Rasmussen Reports (Poll) was riding high.  In 2008 it was spot on, no poll was more accurate.   Barack Obama won 53% to 46%, and Rasmussen’s final poll showed him winning 52% to 46%.  In 2010 nearly a year before the election Rasmussen’s House polling indicated Republicans would gain 62 seats, they gained 63.   In 2004, pro Democrat Slate said they “publicly doubted and privately derided Rasmussen” polls because of the methodology. However, after the election, they concluded that Rasmussen’s polls were the most accurate.

Scott Rasmussen himself was a regular fixture on TV.

Then about a year ago Rasmussen’s polling went haywire and has been haywire ever since. As the Real Clear Politics average of presidential job approval polls shows, the average of all the recent polls is -13%, very negative for Obama.  This is likely the most watched poll average in America.    It is -13% average, only if you subtract out Rasmussen and use the most recent 5 polls.  Rasmussen has Obama 9% higher than the field at -4%.

In the past the most unreliable poll tended to be CBS, with a huge pro-Democrat and anti-Republican bias.  An example of that is the last CBS poll in 1980 they said Carter would beat Reagan, then Reagan beat Carter by one of the biggest landslides ever, a 10% margin.  CBS still has a Democrat bias with Obama at only a -10% approval.

There is great motivation for politicians to corrupt polls.  Higher polls mean more contributions and many conformists will vote for the candidate they think will win.

When I noticed Rasmussen polls had gone haywire about a year ago ,at first thought it was a fluke, then the extreme pro-Democrat bias persisted.  I emailed Real Clear Politics that they should exclude Rasmussen, even though it used to be accurate.   Then researched why it had almost instantly shifted about 7-10% in favor of Obama even though all the other polls were trending negative for Obama.   The reason was easy to find, in July 2013 Scott Rasmussen left Rasmussen Reports.

The poll results went haywire more or less there after.  Today the Rasmussen Report has zero credibility with many that have noticed what has happened.  Interestingly it is hard to find a news article written about this.  It is citizens posting messages to other citizens asking things like “What the heck happened to Rasmussen polls?”

So in this case it appears AUN-TV is the child in the crowd who blurts out in the classic The Emperor’s New Clothes,  “The Emperor is wearing nothing at all.”

From Wikipedia:  The Emperor’s New Clothes–  A vain Emperor who cares about nothing except wearing and displaying clothes hires two swindlers who promise him the finest, best suit of clothes from a fabric invisible to anyone who is unfit for his position or “hopelessly stupid”. The Emperor’s ministers cannot see the clothing themselves, but pretend that they can for fear of appearing unfit for their positions and the Emperor does the same. Finally the swindlers report that the suit is finished, they mime dressing him and the Emperor marches in procession before his subjects. The townsfolk play along with the pretense, not wanting to appear unfit for their positions or stupid. Then a child in the crowd, too young to understand the desirability of keeping up the pretense, blurts out that the Emperor is wearing nothing at all and the cry is taken up by others. The Emperor cringes, suspecting the assertion is true, but continues the procession.

  1. Rasmussen was the least accurate major pollster in 2010, overstating Republican victories by an average of 6 points. And in 2012, its results were wildly off as well. You just didn’t notice how wildly off it was until 2013, when it started offending your Republican sensibilities by favoring Democrats instead of the Republicans its results had skewed in favor of before.

    Scott Rasmussen leaving was not the reason it went so wrong, it going so wrong was the reason he left. But your analysis only tells of your own partisanship and ignorance of the polling firm.

  2. Hi Adam, Thanks for your comment. Your points do not specifically refute any specific fact in the the article. In terms of calling 2010 seats in Congress it was very accurate. We made no reference to 2012 results.

    Looked into it “Our 2012 final daily presidential tracking poll showed Romney at 49% and Obama at 48%. Instead, the president got 50% of the vote and Romney 48%. We were disappointed that our final results were not as close to the final result as they had been in preceding elections. There was a similar pattern in the state polls. For example, in Ohio we projected a tie at 49% but the president reached 50% of the vote and the challenger got just 48%.”

    Read more:

    Being off 1% to 2% in in 2012 is not bad at all. What we pointed out is they were off by 9% at the time of the article and consistently way out of wack with all other polls, even Democrat ones.

    How are they doing now?

    Shows they way over estimated Rubio’s support and way under estimated Cruz’s, in late Feburary. They showed Rubio ahead by 1%. Yet 2 weeks later Rubio did so horribly he dropped out, after Cruz beat Rubio 41% to 6% in Swing state Missouri.

    Donald J. Trump 382,093 40.9%
    Ted Cruz 380,367 40.7
    John Kasich 92,533 9.9

    Marco Rubio 57,006 6.1

    Can never recall the “old” Rass poll ever being that far off before.


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