We've moved!

Social Icons

twitterfacebooklinkedinrss feed

Friday, June 18, 2010

Spinning Shoddy Rasmussen Poll: Where's the Bounce?

I've enjoyed reading some of the spin surrounding the post-primary Rasumussen poll showing Dennis Daugaard's lead over Scott Heidepriem remaining unchanged, even as Daugaard's primary victory changed the match-up from hypothetical to real. Mr. Dahle cuts through said spin and offers a lucid explanation of why Rasmussen's Republican-run robo-call polls aren't much better than my blog polls.

Perhaps we can achieve some balance by averaging Rasmussen's skewed results with mine: Lump Rasmussen's 500-person sample with my 628, and you find Daugaard ahead of Heidepriem by just two percentage points. For both campaigns, a tiny lead like that should make hair stand on end.

Mr. Mercer opened his discussion of the results by noting that Heidepriem "didn't make up any ground" since the preceding Rasmussen poll on May 26. That view is conceivably headline worthy, given that the poll interim included Heidepriem's announcement of Republican Ben Arndt as running mate. That announcement apparently didn't move the Rasmussen poll needle.

But at least equally noteworthy is the absence of a Daugaard primary bounce. Noem got a bounce, or at least a continuation of a climb since April. Daugaard got all sorts of happy press last week, video of him surrounded by cheering supporters. Yet his Rasmussen poll number ticked up just one point.

Now there has been some spin from the other side, with some arguing that Daugaard's poll numbers have stagnated. In classic glass-half-empty thinking, one observers says Daugaard, who enjoyed nearly every advantage, lost nearly half of the Republican vote in the primary.

But I can't quite cheer myself up with that spin. To get every other voter to pick you when they have four other choices is no mean feat. (Think restaurants: if half the diners in Madison went to Dairy Queen for supper while the other half split among Taco John's, Pizza Ranch, Skipper's, and China Moon, everyone would want to follow DQ's business model.)

As for stagnant poll numbers, well, if you believe Rasmussen, and if you had to be stagnant, wouldn't you like to be stagnant 16 points above your opponent, with only 12 percent left undecided?


  1. Have you seen this take on it all yet, Cory? It's from "Mr. X" on Sam's "Dakota Day" journal, front page, "above the fold" ;^)


  2. Only one poll matters, of course: the one that takes place four and a half months from now.

  3. Bill: yes, I did! See link above!

    Stan: absolutely right... rather like the comment I would make to the Tarot reader, that the only cards that matter are in the hand I'm actually dealt. But in the meantime, I've got to have a little fun.

    Stan's common sense does raise an interesting question: should polling matter to a candidate? If I'm running a race, shouldn't I always run as if I were ten steps behind the leader?

  4. If you don't run like you're ten steps behind the leader, you'll end up like Chris Nelson, overconfident and unemployed in the near future.


Comments are closed, as this portion of the Madville Times is in archive mode. You can join the discussion of current issues at MadvilleTimes.com.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.