Terrible Pollster Rasmussen Writes Today’s Dumbest Sentence

by Jack Stuef

Scott Rasmussen and his polling firm have come under fire today for being absolutely terrible and nakedly partisan in their midterm polling, overestimating the performance of Republican candidates in about three-quarters of races. But that’s okay! They have a new poll that tells us exactly what America is thinking, once you figure out what the hell this sentence says:

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds, in fact, that 59% of Likely U.S. Voters think it is at least somewhat likely that most voters will be disappointed with Republicans in Congress before the next national elections.

Oh, we get it, they tried to design a poll that would say absolutely nothing. It worked! [Rasmussen]

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CablinasianDem November 3, 2010 at 5:46 pm

The other 41% voted "Boobs."

bagofmice November 3, 2010 at 6:50 pm

Boobs get my vote.

JustPixelz November 3, 2010 at 6:51 pm

Mary Cary's running again?

ShaveTheWhales November 4, 2010 at 4:47 am


ttommyunger November 3, 2010 at 5:50 pm

My only question is: what kind of loser-nitwit is going to take time to answer some stranger's questions over the phone? Who the fuck are these people and why don't they have some kind of life, however mundane? If they are that fucking needy I don't need to be paying attention to their opinion on ANYTHING.

V572625694 November 3, 2010 at 6:25 pm

It's us — the Olds. Or those Olds who have land lines.

ttommyunger November 3, 2010 at 6:42 pm

Land lines-and lonely, I guess… Fuck that, I'm 70 and neither apply to this Old.

Fare la Volpe November 3, 2010 at 7:27 pm

Smells like Bengay and lemon squares in this thread.

slagondrayer November 4, 2010 at 5:58 pm

and Werther's original.

Redhead November 4, 2010 at 12:03 am

I used to get those calls when I worked from home (and had a workline there). Sometimes I'd fuck with them while I unloaded the dishwasher…

ttommyunger November 4, 2010 at 8:49 am

Good for you. When I had a land-line I would ask sales callers if I could call them back later; then ask for their home number. Never had patience for pollsters, though.

ShaveTheWhales November 4, 2010 at 4:54 am

Oh, ttommy, I'd answer their fucking stupid questions. For the lulz.

Except the only time I've ever been polled was by the NRA, where I got to listen to a marginally insane recorded rant from Wayne LaPierre (that french pussy), and then when the live lady came on, she sounded like my elderly cousin, and I had to simply decline rather than telling her to stuff Wayne's head up her ass.

I do think the NRA has decent computers. They have never called back.

ttommyunger November 4, 2010 at 8:54 am

I've been a Life Member since I was 15 (1956). Quit hunting in the 60's. I think they are a bunch of small-dick fearmongers, on the whole. Trust me, their computers aren't that good; I still get membership solicitations regularly. You must have fallen through a crack.

Katydid November 3, 2010 at 5:55 pm

Now I see how Rasmussen skews his polls. This question was in a series of questions about Obama's "agenda:"

"Is it true that every great idea in American history required government vision and government incentive? "

Fuck him and the poll he rode in on.

Fare la Volpe November 3, 2010 at 7:30 pm

Dear Sassy Molassy, he doesn't even try anymore, does he? Why does anyone take this guy seriously? I distinctly remember, day one of social research methods: "IF A QUESTION IS BIASED, IT WILL YIELD BIASED RESULTS."

danceswithpalin November 4, 2010 at 7:00 am

Fuck him with the pole he rode in on.

chascates November 3, 2010 at 5:56 pm

"One more question, please. What kind of a moron votes for a party he knows will disappoint him and will act against his economic interests?"

SayItWithWookies November 3, 2010 at 6:11 pm

Wheeee, the people!

Amo_of_Bogio November 4, 2010 at 10:55 am

Why, all of them of course!

natoslug November 3, 2010 at 5:59 pm

Final question: What do I have to say to get people to give me more money? I'll whore for anything . . .

PresBeeblebrox November 3, 2010 at 6:00 pm

New Republican Congress…

… I am disappoint.

harry_palmer November 3, 2010 at 6:05 pm

If you answered yes to the above, explain why you voted Republican.

a) I'm a dumb fuck.
b) I'm a corrupt corporate hack
c) I like Sarah Palin's tits.
d) The nice man explained that this time things would be different/ the check was in the mail/ he wouldn't cum in my mouth.

Redhead November 4, 2010 at 12:10 am

This was an actual headline from a local TV station: "VOTE 2010: Voters to decide balance of power in NC, Congress"

I'm guessing the people that answer yes to the above also think that the the Governor usually appoints members of Congress…

ReturnToMetal November 4, 2010 at 5:44 pm

OR …

e) What was that you said again, young man?

CapeClod November 3, 2010 at 6:09 pm

37% of the respondents believe that since the Republicans have given no specifics about how they will fix things in Washington, they assume they will use 'magical powers.'

BarryOPotter November 3, 2010 at 8:18 pm

They're just not ready to accept that Obami-Wan-Kenobi is wise in the way of the Force and, really, he IS their only hope.

Come here a minute November 3, 2010 at 6:13 pm

Nailed it. Margin of error only 193 percent!

SexySmurf November 3, 2010 at 6:15 pm

I'm not waiting until the next election to be disappointed with Republicans in Congress.

Troubledog November 3, 2010 at 6:19 pm

Rasmussen does robo-polls which are skewed by definition to those who have landlines. The robopoll uses an IVR system to prompt for responses (press 1 for Khan, 2 for James T Kirk).

So basically, everybody on their list is an oldster so lonely that they will interact with an IVR system that cold-called their landline-owning listed phone number asses.

SexySmurf November 3, 2010 at 7:09 pm

I think you mean "press 1 for KKKKKAAAAAHHHHHHNNNNNNNN!"

emmelemm November 3, 2010 at 7:09 pm

All I can say to that is: Oh. My. God.

There are people around willing to do that?

MissTaken November 3, 2010 at 10:51 pm

What else are they going to do while they wait for the batteries in their Hoveround to recharge?

SayItWithWookies November 3, 2010 at 6:20 pm

I think Rasmussen's goal is to create so much existential confusion that nobody believes polls ever, including the more reliable non-Rasmussen ones. If their data looks like crap, their allies can argue that all data is crap and that nobody really knows anything. FOX News then pushes this conclusion along with the line that "since all news is crap, you may as well stay with us, since we'll tell you what you want to hear." The right may deplore cultural relativism, but they've sure got it down to a science.

revmod November 3, 2010 at 6:41 pm

So, the opposite is also true: 41% of unlikely non-voters don't think it isn't at all unlikely that very few non-voters will be pleasantly surprised with Democrats in the Senate after the previous local referenda.

Me love surveys in Bizzaro world!

Kitty_Sanchez November 3, 2010 at 7:37 pm

Wow, you're fucking good at that! Are you somebody's press secretary?

obiwanacracker November 3, 2010 at 9:08 pm

And if not, would you like to be? Because rumor has it there may be a position opening up.

neiltheblaze November 3, 2010 at 6:45 pm

The election is the only poll that matters – and that really sucked galactic moose, now didn't it.

JustPixelz November 3, 2010 at 7:05 pm

Careful with that "suck moose" talk around the Palinstas. They take things pretty literally. Except the Constitution. Also except the facts. Except the dictionary too.

JustPixelz November 3, 2010 at 7:02 pm

Regardless of the question and its wording, I am already disappointed with the Repubicans. As far as I know, Obamacare has not been repealed. Neither has the 14th Amendment. Or the 17th. Also, my sales tax is still 7%. Oh John, I had such high hopes for you.

Pop_Socket November 3, 2010 at 8:08 pm

Where's my tax cut?

PuckStopsHere November 3, 2010 at 10:50 pm

and teh jobzzzz!

PsycWench November 3, 2010 at 8:35 pm

But there will be prayer in schools next week, right?

HistoriCat November 3, 2010 at 8:57 pm

No but maybe we can work in a Congressional hearing on how awesome that would be.

Kitty_Sanchez November 3, 2010 at 7:35 pm

How long does it take for their peers ("lamestream media" and the larger political analysis "community") to finally openly acknowledge that organizations like Fox "News" Channel and Rasmussen are hopelessly partisan and therefore disreputable??

ShaveTheWhales November 4, 2010 at 5:05 am


ReturnToMetal November 4, 2010 at 5:42 pm

As long as it takes for an ignorant electorate to realize what they've done.

In other words, don't hold your breath waiting for it.

slowhansolo November 5, 2010 at 2:15 am

Fuck Fox and Rasmussen. If we want to get that particular ball rolling, we ought to start with the AP. It's been nakedly partisan ever since a former Gannett honcho and current wingtard took the reins.

carlgt1 November 3, 2010 at 8:17 pm

maybe it's not science, which is liberally biased. Perhaps their polls are based on sound Creationist principles?

BarryOPotter November 3, 2010 at 8:21 pm

Existentialism! Fuck yeah!

PsycWench November 3, 2010 at 8:34 pm

A student posted something from a Rasmussen poll on Facebook a while back and we had this exchange
Me: I really question that result.
Him: Because it supports a Republican?
Me: No. The actual questions are stupid.
Him: Because they made Republican look good?
Apparently it had never occurred to the guy to actually check out the polling questions or the polling technique…

If you want every problem with a survey pointed out to you, ask a psychologist.

Numbat_Dundee November 4, 2010 at 1:38 am

But you'll only bring sex into it. You lot always bring it down to sex.

kenlayisalive November 4, 2010 at 4:00 am

Question one: how do you feel about big orange Boehners being forced down your throat?

Where's the sex in that?

Lascauxcaveman November 4, 2010 at 2:11 am

PsycWench: You wouldn't guess it from the cordial and reasonably intelligent exchanges we're shared in this forum what a smug, insufferable little conservative-libertarian prick I was a age 19. See, the problem is, I knew *everything* back then.

Best not to take these children too seriously.

PsycWench November 4, 2010 at 6:49 am

Yeah, he's a good kid at heart. I'm still working on getting him over the conspiracy theory stage. He thinks 9/11 might have been an inside job. (I was a little insufferable at 19 too)
This is what I get for posting a comment after two margaritas, but the problem was less the correlation issue (which is obvious to most people encouraged to use logic) but that the questions were really poorly worded and the analysis was weird. I don't remember the details, but it was along the lines of a PETA survey that used a "yes" answer to "don't want conscious animals dissected" to mean that one was adamantly opposed to all animal research.

One_who_wanders November 4, 2010 at 6:59 am

The absolutely worst question I have seen (by a competent major pollster) was a question that was about the Holocaust that was so tortuously worded that as best I can recall almost 1/3 of the respondents answered in such a way that it appeared that they doubted it had occurred. I am excluded questions that were asked in a biased way to influence the results. And don't get me started on robo-polls (IVR), Internet surveys or most panel based surveys.

ShaveTheWhales November 4, 2010 at 5:48 am

This is not in any way intended to disrespect psychologists, but even hybrid physicist/computer scientist/engineer/managers can detect the correlation problems in most surveys.

What I've always found to be disconcerting is that senior corporate managers will usually pay attention to a well-documented critique of survey data, while pollsters won't, and the public tends to believe what they're told, which leads to cyclical reinforcement.

CapeClod November 3, 2010 at 9:05 pm

There is a theory that a certain percentage of the voting population is essentially apolitical and sees an election as something akin to a horse race. With no real party identification, elections are something like a personal wager, the stakes being their ability to be clever enough to choose the winner. It follows that, in a tight contest, these idiots hold the key to winning or losing. This is why, in a close race, politicians will always express confidence that they will win rather than acknowledge that the results will be close. I often wonder if Rasmussen tries to tip the scales by providing polls that have clearly favored Republican candidates. They always struck me as lackeys for the GOP.
I have no idea how many voters behave this way, but since there are a lot of people who gamble on a small scale even though they express little hope of winning, (see any state sponsored lottery), I wouldn't be surprised if it was more than one or two percentage points.

Radiotherapy November 3, 2010 at 9:55 pm

Great point Cape. There is no doubt the house will always win. Its why I couldn't stand Las Vegas. The whole sham is built on suckers. They hold a 52-48 (or worse) on every game. They don't cover that up, and you can tell your relatives this forever — but isn't aunt Helen always fucking lucky?
The step to a two-party system isn't that far. I stated earlier today the "landslide" they are gloating about is what? 51-49. so the pollsters become the house and take a number off the roulette wheel by biasing a question and…presto, a pumpkin is Speaker of the House.

MissTaken November 3, 2010 at 10:55 pm

At least the casinos will comp the buffet. All I got comped when I voted was a sticker.

ShaveTheWhales November 4, 2010 at 5:07 am

You got a sticker?

ShaveTheWhales November 4, 2010 at 5:14 am

"I often wonder if Rasmussen tries to tip the scales by providing polls that have clearly favored Republican candidates."

Sorry if I appear cynical, but you wonder about this?

I don't remember clearly when these assholes emerged in public, but for easily ten election cycles they've been skewed Republican. And by sheer repetition, they've achieved the same position as Fox — well, yeah, we know they're kind of biased, but it's too difficult to say so.

Flair and Biased.

Fare la Volpe November 4, 2010 at 7:36 am

But what is so insane about the whole thing is that, for as long as I've been looking at Rasmussen polls, they have consistently given Republicans a 3-to-4 point advantage at every single opportunity. Even when every other polling organization on the planet gives the same general numbers, Rasmussen is still 3-to-4 points to the right. And yet despite this obvious bias, otherwise respected statisticians still hold them up as a legitimate polling organization. I could understand Rasmussen's existence as simple GOP wank material if everyone else ignored them, but no one does. Why are they given legitimacy they have not earned?

MoeDeLawn November 4, 2010 at 8:54 am

Consistency, I guess. There's a weatherperson in my area who gives forecasts 50% scarier than the other three, so I just automatically discount his numbers by said 50%.

Numbat_Dundee November 4, 2010 at 1:36 am

That poll question is, effectively: "What do you think other people are going to think in two years' time?"
The next step is: "What do you think other people think now about how you'll think in two years time?"
The final poll question will be: "Do you think the giant hairless monkey will eat me before the next election?"

CUNextTuesday November 4, 2010 at 11:14 pm

1 – Pork
2- Sydney….no, Canberra
3- Pork

Serolf_Divad November 4, 2010 at 11:19 am

70% voters said that you said that I said, that you said that I said, that you said, that I said ,that you're a big fat turd.

crapshooter102 November 4, 2010 at 12:57 pm

Check out yesterday's LA Times article on the polls. Guess who is at the bottom? Rasmussen is nothing more than a push-poll. Instead of Rasmussen, just check in with Paul II the new octopus in Germany that predicted the World Cup. He has a much better record and only gets the Crabs, never gives them to anyone else.

ReturnToMetal November 4, 2010 at 5:38 pm

A new Rasmussen poll shows 147% of American citizens will believe anything this dickwad tells them.

But remember, that is a Rasmussen poll.

ReturnToMetal November 4, 2010 at 5:43 pm


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