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Saturday, February 02, 2008
What's Up With Rasmussen?

Are they being paid by Hugh Hewitt to come up with these oddball polls? Captain Ed links to the latest one, which purports to show Mitt Romney tied with John McCain nationally. It's just the thing Hewitt needs for his show on Monday and Tuesday, so he can convince people that Mitt's still got a chance. Of course, nothing will help on Wednesday, but I'm sure Hugh will find something in Utah or Massachusetts that points to Mitt Romney's inevitable victory.

Captain Ed indulges himself in a little hope. I like the guy a lot and he's not been like other Romney supporters, building Mitt up by tearing John down. But I had to smile a bit at this:

Almost all of the existing polling was taken before the debate and also before the big push from talk radio against McCain. No mechanisms will exist to measure the effect of the late developments in the race in each state, but Rasmussen and other daily tracking polls could give an indication of an overall trend that could relate at least directly to trends in each state.

Oh, so there was a "big push from talk radio against McCain"? You mean, as compared to the love affair that the yakkers have had with McCain for the last, oh, eight years or so?

But Rasmussen is starting to bother me, because they keep coming up with these oddball results that are not borne out on the ground. Look at their Florida polling, for example.

Out of the 22 times that other pollsters checked Florida 1/20 on, 5 polls showed Romney with the lead. There were 3 ties, and 16 times John McCain led. But compare that to Rasmussen. They polled Florida 4 times. Of those, 3 times Romney led, and once it was a tie.

That strikes me as rather odd. They've now had what appear to be a significant percentage of the poll outliers recently. I did check and that South Carolina oddball that had Huckabee winning by seven points was an ARG poll, not Rasmussen. Something to keep in mind though.

Update: Protein Wisdom has a post with the magic words:

Rasmussen also had good news for Romney from Missouri, where the latest numbers had John McCain narrowly on top at 32% followed by Mike Huckabee at 29% and Mitt Romney at 28% in the bellwether state.

Rasmussen is again the odd poll out. Then again Zogby is currently showing Romney in the lead in California, another oddball result. Remember, though that California isn't as big a prize as it might seem because it's not winner take all. If Romney were to win Cali by three points, it might translate into a net gain against McCain of 5-6 delegates.


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