Twitter

Rasmussen Bias?

There has been a lot of recent debate over Rasmussen Reports alleged biases. In summation, I think that Nate Silver has the right approach:
Should organizations like Pollster.com and Real Clear Politics, each of which put an (R) or a (D) by the name of pollsters whom they consider to be "partisan affiliated", put an (R) designation by Rasmussen Reports?

Well, I can't really answer that question, because I don't know exactly how they define "partisan affiliated". Still, I think some nuance is in order. In particular, it's probably useful to distinguish between Scott Rasmussen himself and Rasmussen Reports. The polling industry is fairly incestuous; people may be partners in some firms, consultants to others, and may conduct further polling on behalf of themselves as a sole proprietorship or another entity like an S-Corp created for tax purposes. And these relationships may change over time. In this case, the polling for Bush and the RNC was conducted on behalf of "Scott Rasmussen Inc", which I'd surmise is Scott's personal business and is separate from Rasmussen Reports itself.

Does that matter? It emphatically does not excuse the statement on Rasmussen Reports' website, which is specifically applied not just to Rasmussen Reports but also to Scott Rasmussen himself. But, if RCP and Pollster were to place an (R) or a (D) by the name of any polling firm who had any partner who had ever conducted polling on behalf of partisan clients, there wouldn't be too many pollsters left who went without a partisan designation.
Bottom-line: Rasmussen should take the "Scott Rasmussen is not partisan" statement off of their website and go forward making a clear distinction between the individual and Rasmussen Reports.

------
Photo: ScottRasmussen.net