Rasmussen Polls Were Biased and Inaccurate; Quinnipiac, SurveyUSA Performed Strongly

On Tuesday, polls conducted by the firm Rasmussen Reports — which released more than 100 surveys in the final three weeks of the campaign, including some commissioned under a subsidiary on behalf of Fox News — badly missed the margin in many states, and also exhibited a considerable bias toward Republican candidates. Full Story »

Posted by Joey Baker - via Columbia Journalism Review, Memeorandum, FiveThirtyEight, Slatest, Josh_Young (t), Willie Bido (t), Ellie Kesselman (t), Jon Mitchell (t)
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Posted by: Posted by Joey Baker - Nov 4, 2010 - 8:22 PM PDT
Content Type: Article
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Edited by: Joey Baker - Nov 5, 2010 - 6:33 AM PDT
Joey Baker
4.1
by Joey Baker - Nov. 5, 2010

A great look at how accurate all the poll numbers actually are. The kicker is the graph that shows that none of the polls are within a high level of statistical accuracy (all of a margin of error of over 3%).

See Full Review » (19 answers)
Mike LaBonte
3.9
by Mike LaBonte - Nov. 6, 2010

Although this is single viewpoint reporting, other sources are linked.

See Full Review » (11 answers)
Kristin Gorski
4.2
by Kristin Gorski - Nov. 6, 2010

Takes a fair, accurate look at how various polls fared during the U.S. midterm elections. Very enlightening.

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 ... More »

See Full Review » (21 answers)
Michael Shaver
3.9
by Michael Shaver - Nov. 5, 2010

This is a great example of what journalism can be although it is not flashy or exciting it has a purpose and has much to offer for those that want to take advantage. Purpose and methodology are explained in a manner that is very easy to grasp making it possible for those who are inexperienced to understand and hopefully participate in the electoral process.

Whether you're a political wonk or not this is a great read and it provides ample information for later discussions. The creation of 538 has proved to be a popular and positive move for the New York Times. The only thing that is really missing is a more detailed discussion of why the biases and discrepancies exist.

See Full Review » (18 answers)
Dwight Rousu
4.1
by Dwight Rousu - Nov. 5, 2010

Good validity checking is performed. Perhaps the followup evaluation can also take into account their accuracy compared to their claimed accuracy bounds.

Fox would choose a republican-biased polling firm? Surprise.... I would guess they were trying to discourage democratic political contributions and voting as useless.

See Full Review » (12 answers)
Chris Finnie
4.4
by Chris Finnie - Nov. 5, 2010

Nate Silver is not a compelling writer. But he does manage to make the arcane arts of polling and statistics much more accessible to even a math-phobic reader. Since I've always suspected this about Rasmussen polls--just because they were so far out of line with others I'd seen--it's nice to have that statistically verified.

See Full Review » (11 answers)
Mike Carlson
4.0
by Mike Carlson - Nov. 8, 2010

Polling has been in trouble for some time. With the widespread use of screening (answering machines) and the rise of cell phones, the least expensive form of polling via phone is woefully inadequate for reaching many voters/consumers. Polsters know this when they receive the topline results and note that the demographics of the obtained sample looks nothing like population they are trying to reach. As Mr. Silver notes, the "fix" is to weight the results ... and therein lies the ... More »

See Full Review » (4 answers)

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