Suddenly the left loves the skewed Rasmussen poll

RCP average of presidential approval polls
RCP average of presidential approval polls

Some on the left are so desperate to find any good news for President Obama in the latest polls they will even cite the allegedly skewed-to-the-right Rasmussen poll to claim Obama has strong approval ratings from the public. Rasmussen Reports, once considered one of the most accurate polling outfits, has for years been accused by activists on the far left to skewing their polls in favor of conservative issues and Republican candidates for public office. But last year, Rasmussen Reports founder and creator Scott Rasmussen, was forced to resign form the firm and those running it have clearly changed the direction of the polling company after Scott’s departure from the firm.

Some on the far left, including this columnist, are making it a habit to celebrate and cheer on the higher approval numbers Obama enjoys in the allegedly “right-leaning” Rasmussen poll. On several occasions, approval of Obama’s performance as president has hit 50 or 51 percent in Rasmussen’s daily presidential approval polls, when it has lately been consistently between 40 and 44 percent in most of the other well-known polls. Todays, Rasmussen claims once against that Obama is at 50 percent approval, and 49 percent disapproval, the only poll in the Real Clear Politics average of polls that is anywhere near that high for approval or has a disapproval lower than the approval number. Clearly this result is so obviously different than the other that is it has no credibility compared to the other polls.

Statisticians call such a poll in this instance, an “outlier,” which is means it is so far away from the others that it would be discarded from any analysis of the entire set of data (in this case the 11 presidential approval polls in the Real Clear Politics average) because it is too far outside the range of the rest of the data set to be considered statistically valid. In other words, it is far less likely to represent what is really Obama’s approval rating than the rest of the polls in the RCP average.

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But liberals, so desperate to find and report ANY good news about Obama’s approval rating, cherry pick this one poll out of 11 presidential approval polls to make their case. Then they exaggerate the perception of it even more by citing the obviously skewed-to-the-left Rasmussen presidential approval poll as a “major right wing leaning” poll. And on top of that, the author of that article making the claim, writes, “What needs to be taken into account is that the Rasmussen poll has been historically right-leaning. If a “conservative” poll is showing the president with an approval rating of nearly 50 percent, that could only be good news for the president and possibly Democrats leading into the 2014 mid term elections.”

Wow, that is really a stretch, to say the least. The picture above shows a screen shot of today’s Real Clear Politics average of presidential approval polls. Rasmussen is the only poll of 11 listed there that shows Obama having anything close to 50 percent approval, so how can this be right-leaning compared to the other 10 polls in the average?

Anyone believing that the Rasmussen presidential approval poll, and deliberately ignoring the results of the other 10 polls, is a sign of good news for Obama and the Democrats going into the 2014 elections this Fall is doing a severe act of deluding themselves. By the way, news to the far left, many other surveys including the latest Democracy Corps poll are showing this year is shaping up to be a major wave election for the GOP, and even Nate Silver is giving the GOP more odds than not of winning six or more seats in the Senate to gain a majority in the upper house of Congress after this year’s elections. The day after the election, the numbers in the Rasmussen poll aren’t going to serve them any better than my own prediction in 2012 that Mitt Romney was going to win the election with 275 electoral votes.

Suddenly the left loves the skewed Rasmussen poll.


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