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Old 07-18-2016, 03:08 PM
Clu-Me-In Clu-Me-In is offline
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What's with the Rasmussen Reports?

Why is the Rasmussen Reports always different from all of the other polls, most times even Fox News? What do they know that no other polls know?
Old 07-18-2016, 03:31 PM
Atamasama Atamasama is offline
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From what I can tell, Rasmussen uses more automated polling methods than competitors, which some will say is less accurate than those using live polling, but others say give less biased results. The results seem pretty good to me though, Rasmussen polls are usually pretty good so I think traditional polling methods are just behind the times. In 2004 Slate pretty much crapped all over Rasmussen before and during the elections then afterward admitted that they were among the most accurate. You'll see those kinds of reactions often to Rasmussen polls over their history.
Old 07-18-2016, 03:50 PM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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Rasmussen is rated a C+ by for being correct 79% of the time. It does has a bias toward Republicans, but as that chart indicates the vast majority of firms have biases toward one side or the other.

In the short term, remember that polls do have a tendency to swing toward the party having the convention. The polls over the next two weeks are likely to have large name recognition sways. Try not to pay attention anything any poll comes out with until mid-August, and then use that only as a baseline for future trends.
Old 07-18-2016, 03:54 PM
watchwolf49 watchwolf49 is offline
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Or wait until the polls come out on Nov 9th ... those are usually the best and most accurate.
Old 07-18-2016, 03:59 PM
chrisk chrisk is offline
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Hmm... you'd think as a time traveler and con artist, he'd be able to do better than 79%...
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Old 07-18-2016, 04:22 PM
Amateur Barbarian Amateur Barbarian is offline
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Polling hasn't really figured out that the number of landline phones has declined precipitously since 2012... except among Republicans.
Old 07-18-2016, 07:46 PM
DSeid DSeid is offline
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Originally Posted by Atamasama View Post
... Rasmussen polls are usually pretty good so I think traditional polling methods are just behind the times. ...
Rasmussen has a significant "house effect."

In 2010 they were simply awful.
The 105 polls released in Senate and gubernatorial races by Rasmussen Reports and its subsidiary, Pulse Opinion Research, missed the final margin between the candidates by 5.8 points, a considerably higher figure than that achieved by most other pollsters. Some 13 of its polls missed by 10 or more points, including one in the Hawaii Senate race that missed the final margin between the candidates by 40 points, the largest error ever recorded in a general election in FiveThirtyEight’s database, which includes all polls conducted since 1998.

Moreover, Rasmussen’s polls were quite biased, overestimating the standing of the Republican candidate by almost 4 points on average. In just 12 cases, Rasmussen’s polls overestimated the margin for the Democrat by 3 or more points. But it did so for the Republican candidate in 55 cases — that is, in more than half of the polls that it issued.
And in 2012
... Several polling firms got notably poor results, on the other hand. For the second consecutive election — the same was true in 2010 — Rasmussen Reports polls had a statistical bias toward Republicans, overestimating Mr. Romney’s performance by about four percentage points, on average.
From the 2010 election the explanation was:
its cavalier attitude toward polling convention. Rasmussen, for instance, generally conducts all of its interviews during a single, 4-hour window; speaks with the first person it reaches on the phone rather than using a random selection process; does not call cellphones; does not call back respondents whom it misses initially; and uses a computer script rather than live interviewers to conduct its surveys. These are cost-saving measures which contribute to very low response rates and may lead to biased samples.

Rasmussen also weights their surveys based on preordained assumptions about the party identification of voters in each state, a relatively unusual practice that many polling firms consider dubious since party identification (unlike characteristics like age and gender) is often quite fluid.
They give different and often outlier results because they use (cheap) non-standard techniques. Mind you not all that is non-standard is poor. Internet polling is nonstandard but some of them have been performing well. But Rasmussen has had fairly few good years (2004 and 2006) and quite a few poor ones.

Will their non-standard cheap techniques more accurately reflect the make-up of the actual voting population than more standard approaches this cycle?

It's not impossible. The miracle of aggregation though keeps an outlier in its place.
Old 07-18-2016, 08:25 PM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is offline
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Polling is more an art that a science.

The problem is to figure out how well your polling population matches the real population. If, say, your poll has 5% Blacks, and the population in that state is 10% Black, you have to make adjustments to compensate. There are also different way polls define likely voters, which becomes important as election day approaches.

Rassmussen is not doing anything differently from other polls, but their adjustments tend to skew Republican. (Note: I'm not saying their deliberately skewing the data; it's just that their formulas just work out that way.)
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Old 07-18-2016, 09:47 PM
DSeid DSeid is offline
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Originally Posted by RealityChuck View Post
... Rassmussen is not doing anything differently from other polls ...
That much is clearly not true. See cites above.

The differences are much deeper than how they correct the demographics.


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