Political Animal


August 23, 2012 3:11 PM Historic Moment For Rasmussen

By Ed Kilgore

So something unprecedented in public opinion research happened today: Rasmussen put out a poll showing a statewide Democratic candidate opening up a sudden, huge lead over a Republican candidate, and there were undoubtedly cheers across the entire elite GOP/conservative universe.

Yes, Raz has Claire McCaskill up by a 48-38 margin over Todd Akin, with Akin’s favorable/unfavorable rating coming in at 35/63, and nearly half viewing him “very unfavorably.” On the question of whether Todd should stay or go, 41% say “stay” and 42% say “go,” but in the brief analysis it’s made reasonably clear (without breakdowns) that most saying “stay” are Democrats.

Whether this will have an immediate impact on Akin’s thinking about his candidacy is anybody’s guess, but I doubt he’ll be able to keep citing that snap poll from PPP released Monday night that showed him still up by a point over McCaskill.

Given the very well-documented pro-GOP “house effect” of Rasmussen polls, some will wonder if ol’ Scott put a thumb on the scales for Claire. I don’t think so: best I can tell Rasmussen’s bias comes from his sampling techniques and perhaps a bit from his likely voter screens, so he is probably legitimately finding that many MO Republicans ain’t much on Todd’s bandwagon any more, as you might expect at this point. One of Akin’s problems is that he hadn’t really had time to consolidate GOP support after a tough primary before he blew himself up, so those still strongly with him in Missouri are probably those who were with him from the beginning.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • ComradeAnon on August 23, 2012 3:19 PM:

    Ed, you know a heck of a lot more 'bout these polls. But all of a sudden Rasmussen is to be believed?

  • c u n d gulag on August 23, 2012 3:26 PM:

    'A thumb on the scale for Claire?'

    Try an elephant!

    Rasmussed was told, er, PAID, to make Akin's look very bad so that he'd be pressured/forced to "abort" his Senate race.

    McCaskill's already warned everyone NOT to believe that poll.

    Rasemussen, and to a lesser extent, Gallup, are the FOX News of polling.
    They are there to either spread propaganda or misinformation, when, and as, needed.

    Polls are supposed to be tools.
    Polling outfits, arent.

    And, come to think of it, neither are 'pol's.'

  • TCinLA on August 23, 2012 3:40 PM:

    I wouldn't believe Rasmussen if he said it was Thursday, without two independent sources for confirmation. McCaskill's right to say baloney. There are too many idiots in Missouri who believe what Akin believes for things to change that much that fast.

  • BillFromPA on August 23, 2012 3:42 PM:

    These clowns have been deliberate props for the GOP over the years. Their MO is to be a few points higher for the GOP than anyone other than Gallop, but they do narrow it down in the last few days before voting so as to look credible with their final results.

    Clearly they are pimping for the Old Guard GOPers. They want Akin out, like, yesterday, and one tool to do this would be polls showing him losing bad. So, the poll after his accidental truth-telling has him 1 ahead, now he's suddenly 10 down? RIGHT!

  • Bobby Goren on August 23, 2012 4:17 PM:

    It's comforting to know that only 38% of Missouri voters are bat guano crazy.

  • Steve M. on August 23, 2012 4:29 PM:

    It seems entirely possible that most Rasmussen polls are biased because of his choice of voter screens, but this one is just utter bullshit released for propaganda purposes.

  • Ron Byers on August 23, 2012 4:49 PM:

    I am with TCinLA. I wouldn't believe Rassmussen at this point in a campaign if he told me the sun was going to rise in the East.

  • Ron Byers on August 23, 2012 4:51 PM:

    I will tell you that not many Missourians I talk to are defending Akin and his "apology" ad is pretty pathetic. He is running over and over again.

  • Doug on August 23, 2012 4:55 PM:

    IF Rassmussen carried out this poll as it does its' other polls, then it may represent the moment when the Tealiban finally stepped in it by showing its' true face to fellow Republicans. At any rate, one can only hope.
    Still, until there are other polls showing anything close to this, I also agree it needs something along the lines of ten-pound bag of salt accompanying it...

  • bluestatedon on August 23, 2012 5:17 PM:

    I think that what's gotten Akin in such deep shit is not his basic stance on abortion—no exceptions has been a standard position of a large part of the GOP "pro-life" crowd for years, so it's hardly a surprise—but his use of idiotic and profoundly ignorant pseudo-science to support his position.

    It's one thing to take a stand that a majority of Americans don't agree with; it's entirely another to try to justify it with an argument that's tantamount to saying the gravity doesn't exist, the sun orbits the earth, and germs don't cause disease.

  • rrk1 on August 23, 2012 5:58 PM:

    The idea that polling is somehow an honest measure of what voters think or will do is still deeply embedded in the public psyche. As others point out very clearly, polls have become just another arrow in the quiver of a campaign. Believe them blindly at your peril.

    There are legitimate polling outfits in the game, but Rasmussen and Gallup aren't among them. In politics, as in the intelligence world, nothing is what it seems, and the more uninformed we are, oh so many of us, the more easily we are led.

    Here's hoping Atkin stays in and the Rasmussen poll becomes real. He's bound to blow himself up again given that he's on a mission from god, and clueless about reality.

  • Marnie on August 24, 2012 10:02 AM:

    Mcaskill's a blue dog. The Republicans probably figure they loose more with an extreme Tea Prtier who can't say things the way the tell him to, than they loose with a conservative Dem.
    She will actually be easier to control then him.

  • craig burns on September 17, 2012 11:46 AM:

    yeah the rasmussen prez polls are so biased. oh wait, they actually have predicted the last 2 prez races almost exactly to the percentage point.