Rasmussen Polls: Lies, Damn Lies, And Statistics

(Aggregated results of in-person telephone interview polls) Shameless. Rasmussen Reports released a poll which makes it appear as though 60% of

(Aggregated results of in-person telephone interview polls)

Shameless. Rasmussen Reports released a poll which makes it appear as though 60% of the entire nation thinks health care reform should be repealed. Only, they haven't really polled health care reform since March, so how'd they do that? Well, they didn't ask about the law, per se. They asked whether the law should be repealed. And to get to 60%, they had to really stretch.

Eighty-one percent (81%) of Republicans and 65% of voters not affiliated with either major party favor repeal; 56% of Democrats oppose it. Part of the doubt about the likelihood of repeal may come from the fact that Democrats could still control Congress after November. Part of it also may come from skepticism that Republicans would be any different. Recent polling showed that just 42% think there would be a noticeable change if Republicans win control of Congress. Republican voters overwhelmingly believe that their party’s representatives in Washington are out of touch with the party base. Just 21% believe that Republican officeholders have done a good job representing Republican values.

(Aside: The real story in this poll is the last sentence of that paragraph)

Of the 60% who favor repeal, only 39% strongly believe it should be repealed. It's also worth noting that Rasmussen polls via telephone polls, so their voter responses are likely to be older, retired people who are home to actually respond to the poll.

This is nothing more than a shameless effort to shift attention away from the truth. The truth is in that embedded graph at the top of this post. FACT: Support for the health care reform law is INCREASING.

Last week several polls were released affirming this fact. Rasmussen couldn't have that, so they conducted a quickie poll on repeal. Here's what the chart above looks like with Rasmussen results included:

Aggregated results of all polls, including automated telephone polls (Rasmussen and PPP)

As Ezra Klein notes, support for the law hasn't been this high and trending upward since President Obama's speech in September, 2009. Therefore, it was incumbent upon Rasmussen to set to the task of shifting the trend and the narrative to the Republicans' advantage.

And there you have it: lies, damn lies and statistics.

If the dustup between Daily Kos and Research 2000 didn't convince everyone to be a bit skeptical of polls which consistently support one position or another, this should seal the deal. Rasmussen isn't trying to inform, they're trying to actually change the story to one that benefits Republicans. They're blatant, they're shameless, and they're wrong.

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