Daily Poll Watch: Rasmussen polls are so biased that even Fox News has shunned them

For more than four years now, I’ve been arguing here that polls from Rasmussen Reports should be taken with a huge grain of salt.

Noted analyst Nate Silver put it best when he said this last year:  “My advice would be simply to disregard the Rasmussen Reports poll, and to view their work with extreme skepticism going forward.”

And now Alan Abramowitz, a political science professor at Emory University, is out with THIS INDICTMENT of Rasmussen:

In 2012 as in 2008 and 2010, Rasmussen has been the nation’s most prolific polling organization at the state level. Almost every day Rasmussen produces two or three new polls of key battleground states in the presidential election along with their national tracking poll. But in addition to being the nation’s most prolific pollster, Rasmussen gets a lot of attention, especially from conservative media outlets and pundits, because its polls consistently produce results more favorable to Republican candidates than the overall averages — results that frequently don’t match the actual election results very well.

So how is Rasmussen doing this year? Along with its national tracking poll that has typically showed Mitt Romney with a lead that is two to three points larger than the overall average, Rasmussen’s polls in the battleground states have also had a consistent Republican lean. I compared Rasmussen’s latest results in the nine key battleground states — Ohio, Florida, Virginia, Colorado, New Hampshire, Iowa, Wisconsin, Nevada and North Carolina — with the overall averages from the HuffPost Pollster — an average that includes Rasmussen polls. In every case, Rasmussen’s poll showed a better result for Romney than the overall average.


In 2012 as in 2010, Rasmussen is producing polls in key states that are significantly more favorable to the Republican candidate than an average of all polls in those states. Perhaps this time Rasmussen will prove to be more accurate than the average. But outliers like Rasmussen usually turn out to be wrong and Rasmussen’s track record certainly shouldn’t give election watchers much confidence in their results. Maybe that’s why Fox News stopped using Rasmussen for their state and national polling this year. Producing polling results that please one side or the other may work for a while, but eventually journalists and voters catch on to the fact that those results don’t seem to match the numbers on election night.


Meanwhile, Sam Wang of the Princeton Election Consortium SAYS this morning that the likelihood of President Obama getting re-elected now ranges from 86 percent to 95 percent — which is down a smidgen from yesterday.

Wang’s current projection of electoral votes has Obama with 295 and Mitt Romney with 243, which is almost exactly the same as the aforementioned Nate Silver sees it.



  1. This little blurb at the bottom of of this column gives me hope…

    “220,000 fewer Democrats have voted early in Ohio compared with 2008. And 30,000 more Republicans have cast their ballots compared with four years ago. That is a 250,000-vote net increase for a state Obama won by 260,000 votes in 2008.”


  2. > “Sam Wang of the Princeton Election Consortium SAYS this morning that the likelihood of President Obama getting re-elected now ranges from 86 percent to 95 percent — which is down a smidgen from yesterday.”

    Well, I’m sure this is a great relief to the Romney campaign. I bet Wang’s odds for Obama continue to go down, and after Romney wins they might even reach 50-50.

    After the election, all of you are going to feel like Harold Camping did on May 22, 2011 (the day after the Rapture didn’t happen).

    But if Obama is re-elected, just think of the mess he’ll inherit. (Joke courtesy of Dick Morris.)

  3. The three R’s (Rasmussen, Romney and Ryan) have trouble with truth and facts.

  4. Dan F. said: “But if Obama is re-elected, just think of the mess he’ll inherit. (Joke courtesy of Dick Morris.)”

    Dick Morris is himself a joke. There is even an annual award given out in his name.

    The Dick Morris Award is given for wrong political, social and cultural predictions.

  5. This is hysterical. Calling out Rasmussen for a right bias, despite the fact since it’s inception in 2003 the accuracy of the poll in the 04 and 08 presidential races were the best in the business. They called both races within in 1% point.

    But the kicker is, in the same article the author unbelievably quotes Sam Wang and Nate Silver and their ridiculously outrageous extreme left leaning predictions. Just par for the course from a liberal.

  6. Eddie: The Rasmussen record in 2008 relates only to the national popular vote. But when it came to state races, where the electoral votes were, nobody was more accurate than Nate Silver and Sam Wang.

    Silver correctly predicted the presidential winner in 49 of the 50 states. The only state he missed was Indiana, which went for Obama by 1%. He also correctly predicted the winner of all 35 Senate races that year.

    Sam Wang’s final prediction in the presidential race of 2008 was off by only one electoral vote out of 538.

    As for Rasmussen’s vaunted accuracy just before the presidential election of 2008, most polls were pretty much in the ballpark in predicting an Obama victory by a fairly comfortable margin in the popular vote. But Rasmussen wasn’t very close in projecting the margin in the Electoral College.

    On the day before the 2008 election, Rasmussen reported this:

    “Rasmussen Reports Electoral College projections now show Obama leading 260-160. When ‘leaners’ are included, Obama leads 313-160.”

    The actual final tally showed this: Obama, 365 electoral votes; McCain, 173 electoral votes.

    Nobody was closer than Nate Silver and Sam Wang in their final Electoral College projections.

  7. All Obama and his followers have now is hope. As in, “Hope and Chage.” I do not believe Obummer will be re-elected. He has done nothing, even according to the people who voted for him the first time and will not vote for him again. I cannot tell you how many people I have talked to especially over the last 2 months who could not wait to RUN to the polls and vote for Romney. I am talking about people who voted for Obama the first time, people who did not vote for Obama the first time AND people who have NEVER voted or not for a long time, but are voting ROMNEY this time. I have not met even one person, who did not vote for Obama the first time, but will vote for him in 2012. NOT EVEN ONE. As for Rasmussen, he consistently has been correct in the past elections. I do not listten to any biased pollsters. Talk about biased, what about NBC, ABC, NPR, I mean the list goes on and on when you talk about Dem bias. Please, at least lets be fair about it. There are far more news organizations, pollsters, reports, etc., who are biased on the Dem side than on the Repub side.

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