Unlikely Voter

Conservative views on polls, science, technology, and policy

Is Rasmussen biased toward the Republicans? Not in California.

Certain critics either say or imply that Rasmussen Reports is skewed toward Republicans, just because this cycle he predicted early that the 2010 electorate would look nothing like that of 2008.

But that’s not the same as having a partisan bias, and in fact, comparing the latest Rasmussen poll of the California Senate race with SurveyUSA hints there is no such partisan bias to be found.

I say that because SurveyUSA is looking much better than Rasmussen for the Republican. SurveyUSA has Carly Fiorina ahead of Barbara Boxer 47-45 (MoE 4), winning independents 49-40. It’s a slim lead, with a 41% chance that Boxer’s actually up, but it’s a lead.

Rasmussen’s outlook is much friendlier to Boxer, putting her up 49-42 (MoE 4.5). Interestingly enough, Rasmussen has Fiorina winning independents by even more than SurveyUSA does, 12 points.

One big difference seems to be in the Democrats. SurveyUSA gives 83% of them to Boxer, but Rasmussen jumps that to 89. Up to a 12 point swing in that segment goes a long way toward explaining the overall swing from SurveyUSA’s R+2 to Rasmussen’s D+7.

But after this poll, I don’t want to hear about how Rasmussen’s systematically skewing things toward the Republican. I just don’t want to hear it, because the evidence isn’t there. I mean, unless you want to say that the firm’s deliberately swinging things the other way sometimes to cover its tracks, at which point you’re basically accusing Rasmussen Reports of being another Research 2000, a charge that needs a lot more proof than a few good-for-the-Republicans poll here and there.


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