Monday, September 22, 2014

Analysis of Rasmussen Reports Before And After Scott Rasmussen's Departure

"Johnny Radio" AKA Hugh Hewitt
On twitter over the weekend, Hugh Hewitt, host of  the great, intelligent talk show-the Hugh Hewitt Show, and I got into a friendly disagreement with Tom Kludt, a reporter for Talking Points Memo, regarding the Rasmussen Reports polling. 

It has been my contention that the Rasmussen Reports web site has become such an extreme outlier in their polling, with regards to the Real Clear Politics average since Scott Rasmussen left the firm in July of 2013, that it is reaching illegitimacy status.  I have documented this in this post I started on Oct. 23, 2013 and have been updating until now: "What Is Going On With The Rasmussen Reports Polls?"

I have been mainly evaluating their [Rasmussen Reports] status on president Obama's approval numbers [and the spread of positive to negative approval numbers].  Hugh Hewitt pointed out in a tweet on Friday night of how their questionable numbers have crept into their polling of the generic congressional vote.  As of this writing, Sept. 20, The RCP average had the GOP ahead by a +3.5% margin.  But if you looked deeper into the numbers, of the 6 polls listed, 5 of the polls all had the GOP ahead by a 3-7 point margin.  The other poll listed, Rasmussen, had the Democrats ahead by 3 points.

Reporter Tom Kludt
Well, Tom Kludt tweeted to both of us that [paraphrasing], "What's new?"  When Scott Rasmussen was there in 2012 they were just as an extreme outlier the other way.  So, he surmises that they have always been an unreliable poll. 

I tweeted to Tom that I believed that in 2012 [the last full year that Scott Rasmussen was there] for the most part his polling firm was not an extreme outlier and for the most part they were in the mainstream of the other polls listed in RCP and that they were close to the Gallup numbers in 2012.   He countered that, "well both of those polls [Rasmussen and Gallup] were off in 2012 [on the presidential race]."  I didn't tweet this to Tom, but if I would have I would have told him the fact that Rasmussen didn't hit the election results as close as he did in 2010 did not make the polling firm an extreme outlier in relation to the other polls as it applied to the president's approval rating or as it applied to the generic congressional numbers. 

I told Tom that I would do a study of the numbers to see if Rasmussen was an extreme outlier in 2012, the last full year Scott Rasmussen was there.  I was curious myself, and if I would have found out that they were just as an extreme outlier when Scott was there, as they have been since Scott left the firm, I would admit he was right and give him Kudos.

Here is what I found out:

From January 3, 2012 [the first day of polling in that year] until November 6, 2012-when the presidential election was held, there were only 23 times when Scott Rasmussen had the president's approval rating under 46%.  That is 23 days out of 306 days.  The Real Clear Politics average of all polls during this same time period had the president's approval rating below 46%, 10 times.   In both Rasmussen and RCP, the days other when the polling wasn't below 46%, the range stayed between 46 and 50% in both polls--never below 46% and not one time above 50%.   So, that means except for 13 days out of 306, both the Rasmussen Reports poll and the RCP poll of polls almost mirrored each other, with Rasmussen having Obama's approval rating between 46-50% at a 92.5% clip and RCP at a 96.7% clip.  I think any fair person would have to say that means the last full year Scott Rasmussen was there in 2012, the Rasmussen Reports was in no way an extreme outlier, and in fact except for 13 days out of the year, they were not an outlier at all but right in the mainstream with all the other polls listed in RCP.  

Now let's compare that to what the numbers reveal for the first full year, 2014, after Scott Rasmussen's departure from Rasmussen Reports:

From Jan 3, 2014 [1st day of polling for the year in Rasmussen] until today Sept. 21, 2014 the Rasmussen Reports [sans Scott Rasmussen] has had the president's approval rate at or above 45%,  254 days out of the 262 days so far in the year.   That is 97% of the time.    The Real Clear Politics average of all the polls has had the president's approval at or above 45% during this same time period, 0 times.  As Hugh Hewitt would say, for the benefit of Steeler fans, that is 0% of the time..

Let me repeat that.  During the first full year since Scott Rasmussen left the Rasmussen Reports, the president's approval rate has been at or above 45% , 97% of the time compared to 0% of the time in Real Clear Politics.  

RCP average of presidential approval for 2014 [the black line]-as you see it never reaches  45% while Rasmussen during this exact same time period was between 45-52% approval for 97% of the timeNote:  The red line above represents the president's disapproval numbers.

Even more incredible, while Real Clear Politics for the whole year has ranged between 41% and 44+%, never reaching 45%, the Rasmussen Reports has actually had the presidents approval at or above 50% - 31 times [12% of the time].   

Let me repeat that. There is not one other poll in the universe that has had the president's approval rating at or above 50% this year [2014], while Rasmussen [sans Scott Rasmussen] has had them at or above 50%, 31 times.

So, basically for this whole year 2014, RCP has had the president's approval between 41 and 44% while the Rasmussen Reports Poll has had the president's approval between 45 and 52%.

NOTE: The RCP numbers includes Rasmussen in their average of the polls, so the president's approval rating in 2014 would even be lower in the RCP average of polls if Rasmussen wasn't included.
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Conclusion The Rasmussen Reports during the last year when Scott Rasmussen was president of the Rasmussen Reports website, was for an overwhelmingly majority of the time, a main stream legitimate polling firm that was not an outlier with regards to the other polls listed in Real Clear Politics.

On the other hand [using a little of the president's often used phrase], the first full year [this year] after Scott Rasmussen left the web site,  the Rasmussen Reports has clearly become an extreme outlier with regards to all the other polls in Real Clear Politics.  They have become so extreme, in my opinion, that they can no longer be taken seriously as a credible polling firm. 

Just one example of dozens that shows it is hard to take the Rasmussen Reports seriously anymore since Scott Rasmussen left the polling firm to form his new digital media group, are these startling numbers from June 5, 2014:  The Real Clear Politics average of presidential approval for that date [and that even included Rasmussen which skewed their number] was 43.4%.  The disapproval on that date was 52.4% which meant there was a negative 9% spread.  Rasmussen on June 5, 2014 polling laughably showed that the president had an approval of 52% and a disapproval of 46% for a positive spread of 6%.  You would have thought the people who have taken over the Rasmussen Reports would have questioned their own numbers when, with all the other polls out there having the president's approval rating in the low 40's, they had the president at a higher approval number [and spread of his approval vs. disapproval number] than his re-election numbers.  How can anyone take a poll like that seriously.  And as I said, this wasn't a one time polling result that you could just discount as an anomaly.   I could have given dozens of examples like that, just this year. 

In my post "What Is Going On With The Rasmussen Reports" I speculated that [probably more out of hope] the new guys at the Rasmussen Reports made an adjustment in their polling methodology, because for a brief 2 month period of July and August of 2014, while they were still an outlier, they were not as an extreme outlier as they had been.  But that was short lived and they have gone back in September to their extreme unrealistic outlier status they have been for almost a year now.  

Scott Rasmussen-do you miss me now?

What Is Going On With The Rasmussen Reports Polls? [New Update - Sept. 22, 2014]

Update: Sept. 22, 2014:  I got into a discussion with someone on twitter questioning why I was complaining about the Rasmussen Reports now, since they have always been a dubious polling firm and they were just as bad when Scott Rasmussen was there as they are now.  I doubted that but was curious to look at the numbers to see if that was true.  Please read my analysis in this post I published on another page:  "Analysis of The Rasmussen Reports Before And After Scott Rasmussen's Departure".  Thank you!
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Update: Sept. 14, 2014:  I think there should be another billboard up with Scott Rasmussen's picture to echo the one you may have seen showing a picture of George W. Bush saying, "do you miss me now?"  The Rasmussen Reports web site just hasn't been the same [and that may be the understatement of all time] since July of 2013, when Scott left it to found his digital media firm, "Media Group, LLC".  

The ridiculous extreme outlier position compared to all the other polls listed in the great Real Clear Politics web site continues for Rasmussen as on Sunday they actually have Obama's approval rating almost back to level with a 49% approval vs. 50% disapproval.  Are you kidding me Rasmussen Reports?  Real Clear Politics has 8 other polls listed in it's average and every single poll out there has Obama's approval in the lower 40's to high 30's.  The highly respected Gallup poll during the exact same time period Rasmussen does has it's last poll listed [9/11-9/13] has Obama's approval at 41% and disapproval at 54%.  That is a negative 13% spread vs. Rasmussen's negative 1%.  They both can't be accurate-so, which one do you believe?

On Sunday, in Real Clear Politics, the average of polls of the presidents approval and disapproval rating and the spread:

RCP  [with Rasmussen + 8 polls] =  41.6   -53.9  = -12.3%
RCerP [sans Rasmussen, 8 polls] = 40.6   -54.3 =  -13.7%
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Update: Sept. 12, 2014:  Well, throw out my optimism [out of hope] that the Rasmussen Reports website has come back to reality in their polling methods.  If they did finally make a slight adjustment in their polling methods for July and August [like I thought], where they weren't an extreme outlier, like they had been the previous 6 months, that seems to be out the window now with their September numbers.  

It's like back to the future, or Deja Vu all over again with Rasmussen's numbers this month.  They are definitely returning to their extreme outlier [in epic proportions] position in relation to all the other polls listed in the great Real Clear Politics web site.

Let me list the following numbers and you see if you  can see which number seems out of place.  [I will give you a big hint by highlighting it.  :-)]: 40, 42, 38, 40, 43, 38, 41, 48    The poll numbers of presidential approval listed, in order were, Gallup ABC News/Washington Post, Fox News, CNN Opinion, Reuters, Economist/ You Gov and drum roll please- Rasmussen.

The Real Clear Politics average spread of every poll of presidential approval vs disapproval numbers including Rasmussen is a negative 13.3%.  Rasmussen's spread, only a negative 3%.

RCP Average: Presidential approval/disapproval: 41.3 - 54.6  = -13.3%

RCerP Average [sans Rasmussen]:  40.3  -  55.1 = -14.8%

All I can conclude is, this is disappointing Rasmussen Reports....very disappointing as you seem to be moving back into bogus territory.  As, usual Tales will be on the watch.
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Update: Sept. 4, 2014:  If you have noticed my last few updates of the Rasmussen Reports poll watch, you have seen that I have been encouraged that Rasmussen was coming back into legitimacy with what has surely been a change in polling methodology for the last 2 months.  

I have been trying to give them the benefit of the doubt and I also wanted to make sure that the Tales remains a fair and balanced blog.  They certainly hadn't been a huge unrealistic outlier like they had been the previous 6 months.  That is until today.

So, with some readers urging, I must do this update.  The last two days, with president Obama's rankings falling even farther in the great Real Clear Politics average, they have gone up in approval in Rasmussen to 46% yesterday and 47% today, with only a negative spread of 4%.  What positive presidential action or good news report could have caused this jump?  While Rasmussen has president Obama's approval jumping to 47%, Gallup [in the same exact polling period timeline] has had the president's approval drop to 39% yesterday and 38% today-with a negative spread of 16%.  How is this possible? 

And it is not just Gallup.  The 5 polls listed in the Real Clear Politics average, not counting Rasmussen have the president's approval rating down to one of it's lowest ratings in his presidency.  But not Rasmussen.  I am hoping these last two days have been an anomaly for Rasmussen and they are not returning to their ridiculous huge outlier status compared to the other polls in RCP.

Check these stats out:
Rasmussen Reports presidential approval Sept. 4, 2014: 
Approval 47%  Disapproval 51% = negative 4%

RCP average of presidential approval [6 polls] Sept. 4:  
Approval 41.7%  Disapproval 52.7% = negative 11%

RCerP average [sans Rasmussen-5 polls] Sept. 4, 2014:  
Approval 40.8%  Disapproval 53% = negative 12.2%

Tales is watching you Rasmussen!  :-)
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Update: August 22, 2014:  While the Rasmussen Reports presidential poll has still been an outlier to the plus regarding the president's approval numbers, they have not been an extreme outlier [like they had been] for almost 2 months now.  It was June 30, 2014 the last time Rasmussen has had Obama's approval up to 49% or greater, like the many times they did the previous 6+ months.  Now instead of their positive to negative approval ratings being 8-12+ points greater than the Real Clear Politics average almost every day since I began this Rasmussen poll watch on October 21, 2013, they have come down to within about [only] 3-5 points higher since the beginning of July.  That is within reason. 

I submit, they must have made an adjustment to their polling methodology that has brought them within shouting distance of all the other polls out there. 

Yes, they are still showing slightly higher approval numbers for president Obama, but their results have become more realistic compared with the other polls in RCP.  For example, today the Rasmussen Reports has Obama's approval at 45% compared to the RCP average of 42% and their spread of negative 8% compares favorably to the RCP average of negative 10%.

Note-update:  On Sunday, August 24, the Rasmussen Reports has president Obama's approval down to 43% and the spread is negative 13%.  Not an outlier at all.  Along with the last 7 weeks in polling, this convinces me that the Rasmussen Reports poll website has definitely made an adjustment in their methodolgy of polling and they can once again be included in the family of legitimate pollsters. 

Therefore, I must confess that RCP has shown more wisdom in keeping them in their list of polls and not taking them out like I have suggested many times.  I apologize, RCP, you were right.

While not giving the Rasmussen Reports "Tales" seal of approval just yet, we are encouraged that their extreme outlier status [hopefully] has become a thing of the past.  But don't think Tales won't be watching you Rasmussen Reports.  :-)
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Update: July 26, 2014For the the first time since I have started this Rasmussen Reports poll watch 9 months ago, I may be detecting an adjustment in the Rasmussen Reports polling methodology, an adjustment that has inched them closer to legitimacy in the last 24 days.  Yes, they still [until today] have been a slight outlier to the upside compared to the other polls in the great Real Clear Politics list of polls, but they have not been outrageously so, as they have been since the beginning of this poll watch.  Today, Saturday July 26, 2014 they are not an outlier at all as they have Obama's approval down to 44% and disapproval at 54% for a - 10% spread.  The RCP average today [before Gallup new numbers on Saturday] is 41.7% approval with a negative 11.7% spread.  So, Rasmussen is close to the RCP average and I would say for today at least, not an outlier.

The last time Rasmussen has had the president's approval down to 44% was on February 13, 2014.  Even more telling that there might have been an adjustment made for the better regarding the Rasmussen Reports polling methodology is that for almost 4 weeks Rasmussen Reports has had Obama's approval up to 48% only twice and they have not had his approval above 48% since June 30, 2014.  The last time Rasmussen Reports has had Obama's approval up to 50% was on June 9, 2014.

So, while we are not ready to declare this Rasmussen Reports poll watch moot, we are getting encouraging signs.  Tales would like to see another month of non-extreme outlier status of Rasmussen Reports polling before we can shout Hallelujah. :-)
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Update: July 14, 2014:  To be fair and balanced on this Rasmussen Reports watch, I must report that for the longest stretch this year 2014, the Rasmussen Reports has not been an extreme outlier.  Yes, they have still been an outlier to the upside of the president's approval rating but not wildly so [for almost 2 weeks].  For the last 9 readings Rasmussen has had Obama's approval rating at 45 or 46%.  The last time Obama's approval was 47% or higher in the Rasmussen Reports was on July 2.  While the Rasmussen approval of the president is still 5% higher than the RCP average, and their spread of approval vs disapproval is still 5% more positive for the president, at least they are within shouting range.  We will see if this trend continues, which might mean Rasmussen has adjusted their methodology so as not to be such a huge, irrational outlier with respect to the other polls, or if this is a temporary anomaly.  

You can be sure, Tales will be on the watch. 
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Update: June 30, 2014Well, that didn't take long.  In the last Rasmussen Reports update Tales reported that for 3 straight days Rasmussen had Obama's job approval at 45% and its negative rating of -8 and -9%, which for those 3 days meant it was not a huge outlier like it has been for 8 months [since Scott Rasmussen left the polling firm].  Now just 5 days later with certainly no positive news coming out on the president's behalf, in fact, much negative news having occurred, Rasmussen amazingly has Obama's job approval leaping back up to 49% with a disapproval of only 50%.  We didn't even get one week of reasonable poll numbers out of Rasmussen [compared to every single other poll listed in the great Real Clear Politics].  Let's put this in perspective.  The Real Clear Politics average of every poll listed without Rasmussen  has Obama's approval at 40.7% and a disapproval of 54.1% which equals to a negative 13.4% ratingRasmussen has Obama's approval at 49% and a negative 1% rating.  Would you consider that an outlier, or, after 8 straight months of similar results, evidence of a bogus polling firm?  Tales reports, you decide.
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Update: June 25, 2014In what I hope is not an anomaly for the Rasmussen Reports, but it probably is, for the first time in 38 days [and for one of the very few times in the last 8 months] the Rasmussen Reports does not have president Obama's approval rating above 45%.  It is exactly 45% approval vs 54% disapproval.  That negative 9% rating from the Rasmussen Reports is the first time it has been this low on their web sight in 72 days, on April 14, 2014.  In the past whenever, every once in a while, Rasmussen Reports has had a reasonable polling result, at least not an extreme outlier, it is quickly followed in a couple of days back to their extreme, outrageous outlier status.  We shall be on the watch.  

One thing I think this number today points out, that the president must really be in bad shape, polling wise, if even Rasmussen has them at negative 9% and not in the upper 40's.  I guess that could be one of the arguments Real Clear Politics might give for not dropping them yet [like we have called for], so then a number like today highlights even more clearly the president's problems.

Tales will remain on the Rasmussen watch, reporting the truth wherever it leads.  :-)

Update of update:  today it is Friday June 27, 2014 and for the third straight day Rasmussen has had Obama's approval number at 45% with a negative 8% approval vs disapproval rating.  These last 3 days of not being extreme outlier results do not erase 8 months of incredulous poll numbers by the Rasmussen Reports - so, Tales will remain vigilant.
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Update: June 22, 2014:  I started this Rasmussen Reports Poll watch on October 21, 2013, when I noticed some curious poll numbers coming from the Rasmussen Reports since Scott Rasmussen left the polling firm almost a year ago.  Since then I have received much support thanking me for this post from many others who have also noticed the extreme outlier status of Rasmussen in favor of President Obama's approval numbers.  For example, just yesterday, Sunday, June 22, I received the following e-mail from a Scott B., forwarded to me of an e-mail he sent to info@RasmussenReports.com, that I wanted to share with you:

"So today you have Obama's approval/disapproval at 49/50; a minus 1 in net disapproval. The Real Clear Politics average is minus 12 in net disapproval. Your national polling is pathetic. Your national polling has been a Daily Outlier since Scott Rasmussen departed.

How do you justify your existence? Please disclose how many subscribers you have lost since Scott Rasmussen left because of your daily garbage data dump. To believe your polling, you would have to believe that with all his recent scandals and failures,
Obama's approval has stayed static with a small rise. I live on the planet earth in the USA. I have no idea where your data comes from, but it is not from this universe!"                 Regards, Scott

Good e-mail to Rasmussen Reports, Scott.  Thanks, for sharing.

Updating stats on Sunday June 22, 2014: for the last 244 days [since Oct. 21, 2013] the Rasmussen Reports has had president Obama's approval above 45%, 198 times vs. the RCP average of all polls [including Rasmussen] which has had Obama's approval above 45%, 1 time [and that 1 time it was 45.1%].

Real Clear Politics average from Sunday June 22, 2014:
Approve 42.2 %    Disapprove  53.8 %  =  - 11.6%

Real Clearer Politics [sans Rasmussen] from June 22, 2014:
Approve 40.8 %    Disapprove  54.6 %  =  - 13.8%
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Update: June 18, 2014:   For those new to these updates, I ask if you will please scroll down to my original post on Oct. 21, 2013 to understand what I am trying to show with this post, that since Scott Rasmussen left the Rasmussen Reports polling firm there has been, not just a bias in their polls, but comparing their poll numbers to everyone else in Real Clear Politics  [the gold standard of polls] an almost certain bogus nature to their polling results.  For example, let's look at these Obama's approval numbers in the month of June from the polls listed in RCP and see if one stands out [I will give you a hint by highlighting  :-)]: 40 - 40 - 38 - 43 - 42 - 41 - 41 - 48  Respectively, these are numbers listed currently in RCP of Fox News - Reuters/Ispos - Bloomberg - Economist - Gallup - NBC/Wall Street Journal - and Rasmussen.

Since Oct. 21, 2013 [240 days ago] when I started this Rasmussen watch, I can also update these numbers:  Rasmussen has had Obama's approval at or above 50% = 38 times.   RCP = 0 times.
Rasmussen has had Obama's approval above 45% = 194 times vs. RCP average = 1 time [and the only reason it was one time 45.1% on Oct. 24, 2013 was because Rasmussen put it above-without Rasmussen included in the average, it would have also been 0 times].

RCP average today:
Obama approval 42.3%  Disapproval 53.6%  =  - 11.3%

RCerP average [that does not include Rasmussen poll]:
Obama approval 41.6%  Disapproval 54.0%  =  - 12.4%
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Update: June 5, 2014: I am sorry to have a third straight day of updates, but the Rasmussen [less] strange poll numbers are getting more ridiculous, even by their standards.  I try to do an update about once every two or three weeks, but this polling firm is getting out of hand.

With all that is going on in the world and economically in America and with recent scandals that have plagued this president, what would you think of someone who tried to tell you that Barack Obama's approval rating as president is higher now than even when he got re-elected in 2012?  Yes, I would think the same thing: "Who let them out?"  

Well, that is what the Rasmussen Reports poll is conveying as somehow, their polling is showing the president's approval rating at 52% and disapproval at 46%, a +6% spread.  President Obama won re-election over Mitt Romney by a 51-48% margin.  And the Rasmussen numbers almost matches what the president won election by in 2008 as Obama beat McCain by 53-46%.  Does anyone, even the most ardent liberal Democrat [not counting the Rasmussen Reports people] really believe that Obama is back up or even close to those numbers?

This now means that since I have started this Rasmussen watch back in October 21, 2013, 227 days ago, Rasmussen Reports has had president Obama's approval at or above 50%, 36 times vs 0 times for RCP.   And the Rasmussen Reports has had Obama's approval above 45%, 181 times vs 1 time for RCP.   

Rasmussen Reports an outlier?  No, much more than an outlier.  I submit they have established themselves as a totally bogus polling firm since the great Scott Rasmussen left the firm.

Some may ask why do I keep harping on this since it is only one outlier poll and RCP gives their average with many more polls that would dilute the outlier status of the Rasmussen numbers.  The reason is because they are such a wild outlier, and have been for going into their 8th month now, that they can actually skew the RCP average in a pretty big way.  For example, today, Thursday:

Real Clear Politics [RCP] that includes Rasmussen:
President job approval average 43.4 disapproval 52.4 = - 9.0%

Real Clearer Politics [RCerP] that doesn't include Rasmussen:
President job approval average  42.1 disapproval 53.3 = - 11.2%
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June 4th update I'll just give today's Rasmussen Reports numbers with one comment. [then please read the June 3 update from yesterday, and if you haven't yet the original post from Oct. 21, 2013]. Thank you.

Rasmussen [less] Reports:Obama Approval 52%- Disapproval 47%

Comment: Why, oh why, great Real Clear Politics do you continue to list in your job approval numbers of the President such an undisputed, every day outlier poll, and what I and many others believe is an obvious illegitimate poll?
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Update: June 3, 2014So, as not to be repetitive on every Rasmussen Reports update, please read the first sentence of the May 27, 2014 update.  Well President Obama is going through another uncomfortable period in his presidency with the VA scandal and now his ill advised terrorist exchange and photo op with the pro Taliban dad of the deserter.  Well, I guess the president's approval rating is down.  And yes it is with CNN, Gallup, CBS News, Associated Press, Reuters, and ABC News/Washington Post with an average negative spread of those 6 polling organizations at - 10.8% ... and then there is the Rasmussen Reports poll. Yes, somehow they are catching a different mood of the country regarding the president's approval vs disapproval rating in their poll.  They incredibly once again have the president in positive territory at + 1%  =  50% approve and 49% disapprove.  So, either Rasmussen is right or every single other poll out there is right.  
Keeping the tally from October 21, 2013, when I started my Rasmussen Reports Poll watch [since Scott Rasmussen left the polling firm and taken over by God knows who], try to digest the following stats: In the last 225 days, Rasmussen Reports has had Obama's approval rating at or above 50%, 34 times -- RCP at or above 50%, 0 times.  In the last 225 days, Rasmussen Reports has had Obama's approval above 45% an astounding 179 times -- RCP [even including Rasmussen in their list] has had Obama's approval above 45%, 1 time.  

In case you missed that, let me repeat those numbers....at or above 50%, 34 times vs. 0 times and above 45%, 179 times vs. 1 time.  

Is the Rasmussen Reports poll bogus?  Tales reports, you decide ... the obvious.

PollDate        Approve Disapprove Spread
RCP Average5/16 - 6/2
43.652.7 -9.1
CNN/Opinion Research5/29 - 6/1
4355 -12
ABC News/Wash Post5/29 - 6/1
4553 -8
Gallup5/31 - 6/2
4352 -9
Rasmussen Reports5/31 - 6/2

5049 +1
Reuters/Ipsos5/22 - 5/26
3856 -18
Associated Press/GfK5/16 - 5/19
4356 -13
CBS News5/16 - 5/19
4348 -5











Note: I think you know how I stand on whether I think Rasmussen Reports has become a bogus polling firm since Scott Rasmussen left as I like to call it the "Rasmussenless Reports".  But on twitter from twitter friend Dillon @000Dillon000 has come up with an even more appropriate name for the new Rasmussen [minus Scott Rasmussen] Reports  - the "Obamamussen Reports"
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Update: May 27, 2014This is ground hog day all over again as far as the record breaking outlier status [to the upside of the president's approval status] of the Rasmussen Reports Poll [since the great Scott Rasmussen left the firm about 9 months ago].  As I am updating this on Tuesday May 27, 2014, Rasmussen once again is alone in having Obama's approval rating in positive territory: 50% approval - 49% disapproval.  This compares, as it usually does, in an outlier status to the RCP compilation of polls average, which has Obama's approval at only 44% and a negative 8.1% [approval vs. disapproval]. 

Also, since my update of May 14, 2014 I can update the number of times Rasmussen has had Obama's approval at or above 50% since I started my Rasmussen watch on Oct. 21, 2013-218 days ago.  Rasmussen Reports has had Obama at or above 50% - 33 times in the last 7 months.  RCP - 0 times.  Even more stark is to look at how many times Rasmussen vs RCP has had Obama's approval above 45%.  The Rasmussen Reports in the last 218 days has had Obama's approval above 45% an incredible 172 times.  RCP has had Obama's approval above 45 % - 1 time.  1 as in once!  












To realize how bogus the Rasmussen Reports Poll of the president's job approval number has become: The liberal Democrats don't even quote it to show how Barack Obama is riding high in approval ratings.  When even the Democrats realize how bogus Rasmussen has become, that is something. 
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Update: May 21, 2014: If one looked at the Real Clear Politics average of polls, you might think Obama's approval is in the doldrums with a 44.1 % approval average and a negative 7.5% rating of approval vs disapproval numbers.  But if one just looked at the Rasmussen Reports website poll numbers, you would think president Obama is flying high.  Yes, once again [check the May 14, 2014 update] the Rasmussen Reports has Obama in positive approval with the American people: 50% approval - 48 % disapproval. If I didn't know better, I would think Rasmussen Reports was trying to break the Guinness Book of World Records in longest length of time in outlier poll status.  If you scroll down to my original post on October 21, 2013, you will realize that Rasmussen is now well into its 7th month of outlier status [to the upside] regarding the president's approval numbers.  The reason I keep pointing this out is, while it is just one poll, it really skews the RCP average [and always in one way].  For example, today [I am posting this before Gallup numbers have come in] RCP has Obama's approval at 44.1% with a negative 7.5% [approval vs disapproval].  If RCP didn't include the Rasmussen Reports poll, Obama's approval would drop to 43.3% with a negative 8.9% rating.

Please also read the May 14, 2014 update and then my original post on October 21, 2013 for some context.  In the original post you will find I have noticed this outlier status occurring since Scott Rasmussen left the polling firm to start a new digital media organization.  The reason I bring that up is some don't know that Scott Rasmussen is no longer with the Rasmussen Reports Poll website [and hasn't been for about 9 months] and they think I am criticizing Scott Rasmussen, which is exactly opposite of what I am doing.  Thanks!
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Update: May 14, 2014: For the third straight day Rasmussen has now had president Obama's approval rating at the 50% mark. So, I decided to do a study from the day I started this Rasmussen watch Oct. 21, 2013, until today, May 14, 2014 [205 days] to see how many times Rasmussen has had the president's approval at or above 50% and how many times the gold standard of polls, Real Clear Politics has had the president's approval at or above 50%. Rasmussen has had Obama's approval at or above 50%, since Oct. 21, 2013, 29 times.  The RCP average of polls has had the president's approval at or above 50%, 0 times.  

But it gets even worse, much worse.  Not only hasn't RCP ever had the president's approval up to 50% in the last 7 months, the highest that they have had Obama's approval rating is 45.1% which happened on Oct. 24, 2013.  Other than that one time, the RCP average of presidential approval has ranged between 39.8% and 45%.  So, with RCP having Obama's rating above 45% 1 day in the last 7 months, I decided to see how many days Rasmussen has had Obama's approval above 45%.  The answer = 160 times. Let me repeat that, Rasmussen had Obama over 45% 160 times vs. the RCP average of polls 1 time in the last 7 months [and remember the RCP poll includes in their average the Rasmussen poll which skews their average-so, you can surmise it is even worse than it looks.]  

Let's put these statistics another way.  In the last 7 months [Oct. 21, 2013-May 14, 2014] the RCP average of all polls has had president Obama's approval rating between 40-45%, 99.6% of the time.  In the exact same time period, Rasmussen has had president Obama's approval rating between 46-52% 78% of the time.  

If those numbers don't prove the bogus nature of the Rasmussen poll regarding presidential approval numbers, nothing will. Which leads to the obvious question: Why does Real Clear Politics continue to include Rasmussen [at least as far as the presidential approval numbers go] in their list of polls?  
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Update: May 7, 2014: Please read, for background information, yesterday's update from May 6, 2014 and scroll down to original post from Oct. 21, 2013 when this Rasmussen poll watch first started.  Today the Rasmussen Reports once again has president Obama's approval rating in positive territory, and this bogus polling firm has been the only one that not just today but numerous times the last 6 months has had Obama's approval rating in positive territory.  Today Rasmussen: Obama approval 50% Disapproval at 48% = +2%, while the RCP average is at -7.1%.
Note: without bogus Rasmussen numbers in the RCP average, Obama's approval/disapproval number would be -8.3%.   
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Update: May 6, 2014: Well, if you check my update from April 25, 2014 I was hoping beyond hope that Rasmussen would show more than a two or three day brief entrance into normalcy with the other polls out there.  I was wrong once again and now I vow never to post an update of the Rasmussen Poll getting back to a legitimate polling status [compared to the other polls] until I see at least a couple or 3 straight weeks of normalcy [and not its usual outlier status-always to the upside of president Obama's job approval numbers].  In other words, I won't be fooled again as I was [maybe out of wishful thinking] in my Feb. 13 and April 25 updates.  Today, once again Rasmussen has Obama back to even approval numbers, 49+ and 49-, outside of every other legitimate pollster.  The RCP average has president Obama at -7.6% even including the outlier bogus Rasmussen polling firm.  What is even more disturbing, Rasmussen outlier status is creeping into its generic ballot [but I am yet to claim that officially, like I have their president's job approval numbers].  While the RCP average has the Republicans up +0.6, Rasmussen has the Democrats up +4.  I hope that doesn't become a trend with Rasmussen like their wild outlier status of president's job approval.  Here is the RCP average from the Real Clear Politics great political web site:

Poll
Date
Approve
Disapprove
Spread
RCP Average
4/11 - 5/5
44.0
51.6
-7.6
5/3 - 5/5
49
49
Tie
5/2 - 5/4
43
55
-12
5/2 - 5/4
44
51
-7
4/26 - 4/28
45
52
-7
4/24 - 4/27
41
55
-14
4/23 - 4/27
44
50
-6
4/23 - 4/27
44
50
-6
4/13 - 4/15
42
51
-9
4/11 - 4/15
44
51

-7 



Update: April 25, 2014: In these Rasmussen updates, which have turned into a Rasmussen poll watch from the original post in October of 2013 [scroll down], we are trying to not just show when Rasmussen has been such a huge outlier [which has been most of the time for over 6 months], but we are trying to be accurate and post those times when the Rasmussen poll on the president's approval rating are not a huge outlier.  There have been two or three other times when Rasmussen has not been a huge outlier, and in all those times they lasted exactly three days-then went back to their big outlier status.  Today, for the second straight day, Rasmussen is not only not a huge outlier, it is not an outlier at all.  In both the last two days Rasmussen has a 45-54% approval rating for the president [a negative 9% difference].  That is right in line with the RCP average of 43.7% approval and a negative 8.5% spread.  I am kind of reluctant to post this update because every other time Rasmussen shows they might getting in line with the rest of the polling and out of their outlier status, they will have a huge leap in one day of the president's approval rating.  So, it wouldn't surprise me if tomorrow Rasmussen goes from 45-54  to 50-49 and back to their outlier status they have been for 6+ months.  That big of swing in one day has happened before.  But you can be sure the Tales will be watching and reporting.   :-)  
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Update: April 11, 2014For the third straight day, every poll listed in the great Real Clear Politics average of polls has president Obama's approval rating at between 40 and 43% [every poll out of the eight listed except Rasmussen].  Rasmussen for the third straight day has president Obama's approval at 50% in positive territory +1%.  Either every other pollster out there is wrong or Rasmussen is wrong.  We report, you decide.  

I have been doing this Rasmussen watch since October of last year. Rather than repeat every point I have been trying to make for the last 6 months, will you please scroll down to my original post on October 21, 2013.  Needless to say I consider Rasmussen [at least in regards to the presidential approval numbers] to be a total joke.  But, what do I know. 
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Update: April 3, 2014: I received in my e-mail yesterday a well written statement from a Scott Brown that was sent to the Rasmussen Reports about an explanation they gave for questions they received about their polling.  If you check my post from Feb. 24, 2014 near the bottom, I echoed those exact same concerns about their meaningless explanation [that did not deal at all with their constant outlier status - an outlier status from the other polls that is always showing a higher number in president Obama's approval than the other polls.  There is not one instance [not one instance] in the last 6 months where they have been an outlier having a lower number for president Obama then the other polls.  For that to happen for six months seems an improbable statistic for a legitimate polling organization.  Plus this phenomena has only occurred after Scott Rasmussen left the organization to form a new company.  Coincidence...not over 6 months worth, no way.  

Scott Brown, gave me permission to post his e-mail in this update that he sent yesterday to info@rasmussenreports.com:

"Good try today in your polling explanation. No cigar though. Not even close. 


Your polling is not being criticized for its daily fluctuations, but for being 5-10 points off on a daily basis in favor of the Democrats and Obama."
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Update: March 25, 2014: To continue the Tales watch of the Rasmussen Reports Polls since Scott Rasmussen left to start a new company, there may [and I emphasize the word may] be encouraging news that Rasmussen has got there act together to not be so much of an outlier as they have been for the last 6 months.  Now for the third straight day, while they have still had president Obama's approval numbers higher than the other polls in Real Clear Politics, at least they are not a wild outlier as they have been since Scott Rasmussen's departure and new people took over the "Reports".  For the second straight day their poll has president Obama at 46% approval and 52% disapproval.  While that is higher than the other polls that have president Obama's approval numbers in the low 40% range, it is at least within shouting range- so I do not consider this a big outlier.  Of course the last time I reported a 3 day encouraging news from their poll, the very next day they had an unbelievable one day turn of Obama gaining 5% in approval and 5% lowering of disapproval for a 10% change in approval vs. disapproval range [with no major news event that could account for such an unrealistic change].  So, Tales will be watching these next couple of weeks to see if Rasmussen goes back to their unrealistic outlier staus, or returns to being considered a legitimate polling organization.   Here are the numbers from today [Thursday 3/27] that I consider are hopeful numbers from Rasmussen [hopeful as I really do want them to become legitimate again]:

RCP Average3/14 - 3/26--42.653.4 -10.8
FOX News3/23 - 3/251015 RV4053 -13
The Economist/YouGov3/22 - 3/24711 RV4453 -9
Associated Press/GfK3/20 - 3/241012 A4159 -18
Rasmussen Reports3/24 - 3/261500 LV4652 -6
Gallup3/23 - 3/251500 A4252 -10
CBS News3/20 - 3/231097 A4350 -7
GWU/Battleground3/16 - 3/201000 LV4453 -9
Reuters/Ipsos3/14 - 3/181165 RV4155 -14

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Update: Feb.24, 2014:
I first did this post, "What is going on with the Rasmussen Reports Poll" on October 21, 2013.  I did not start this post after only one or two odd results.  I had been watching it for more than a month of odd results that I had seen.  My first post never questioned the legitimacy of their poll [after Scott Rasmussen left the organization] but it was an actual honest elicitation of information of why were we seeing an outlier status in approval of the president's ratings from Rasmussen in relation to the other polls in Real Clear Politics [that was not there when Scott Rasmussen was president of the company].  So, now as we are closing in on a half a year of outlandish outlier status [with one short 3 day period that I noted in my Feb. 13 update, that was within the norm of the RCP average] I now consider the Rasmussen Reports Poll to be totally bogus, with a liberal agenda to advance.  Today, Feb. 14, while the RCP average [even including Rasmussen] has the president at -7.5%, Rasmussen has the president's approval rating almost back to his re-election number at 52% and a +5% rating [just about what he won the election by].  I think Rasmussen Reports have given themselves away with their explanation on their site: "Some readers wonder how we come up with our job approval ratings for the president since they often don’t show as dramatic a change as some other pollsters do. It depends on how you ask the question and whom you ask".   No, Rasmussen Reports, that is not what the people are wondering.  We are not wondering why your ratings are constant.  The question the people are wondering is why they are consistently such an outlier result with every other pollster out there, and consistently between 7-14% higher president's approval rating then from the RCP average of polls.  Then Rasmussen gave the reason that there poll is different from the other polls is because it depends on who you ask the questions to and how you ask the questions.  Well, now we know.  Thank you Rasmussen as you have just admitted you are asking the people you want, and the questions you want, to elicit the bogus poll numbers you want.  That has to be the only credible explanation of their questionable poll results always favoring the president over the other polls.   

To me there is no longer a question in my mind of the legitimacy [or I should say illegitimacy] of the Rasmussen Reports poll. The only question that remains is why the greatly respected web site Real Clear Politics [that I love and check every day] is still carrying their poll that skews their average by as much as 3% points. 

 
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Update: Feb. 14, 2014:  Everything you see I wrote in the update of Feb. 13, yesterday, disregard that.  I take back everything I said, even more so, after seeing what has to be to a legitimate pollster statistically impossible, absent some major event occurring.  For three straight days the Rasmussen Reports poll had Obama's approval at 44% and disapproval at 55%.  That meant for three straight days [and the only three days] in the last 5 months that they weren't an outlier poll.  So, I foolishly was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt thinking three days might wipe out so many months of outlier status [not just outlier-but huge outlier status].  Well, today in one day the president's approval in the Rasmussen Poll jumped 5 points to 49% with the disapproval dropping 5 points to 50%.  From a -11%  to a -1% IN ONE DAY with no major event happening or major speech or major positive news on the economic front in the United States or the world and Rasmussen has Obama gaining 10 points in the negativity rating.  To me, that even amplifies the bogus methodology Rasmussen has to be using and puts them clearly in the Zogby bogus status from years ago when they were dropped from the Real Clear Politics average.  I made a mistake in posting yesterday's positive report on Rasmussen, but I won't be fooled again. 
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Update: Feb. 13, 2014For almost 6 months this blog has been on a Rasmussen Reports poll watch following the amazing turn of Rasmussen being a respected poll, when Scott Rasmussen headed the organization, into an outlier of almost biblical proportions in which the president's poll numbers were elevated by 7-10 points daily from every other poll that was out there and certainly elevated that much from the highly respected daily RCP average of polls.  You could tell how much Rasmussen had fallen in respectability, when not even the liberal Democrats were quoting this poll that had the president near are above 50% while the other polls were showing him near or under 40%.

So, it must be noted, today for the third straight day the Rasmussen Reports poll has been back in with the mainstream of all the other polls [with the president's approval rating at 44% positive and 55% negative].   While three days does not wipe out 6 months of outlier status, it does give me hope that Rasmussen can now once again be in the respected poll status.  

It is hard to understand how this has happened, if they had changed their method that was used when Scott Rasmussen was there and are now changing back because of their outlier status, but something has happened these last 3 days with their polling that didn't show up for many months.  Whatever has happened it is a positive development.

Tales, which has constantly been updating the outlier status of the Rasmussen poll, would be intellectually dishonest if we hadn't also reported on this positive development of the Rasmussen Reports poll.  Tales also must give kudos to Real Clear Politics.  I had been wondering why they were keeping the Rasmussen Reports poll in its daily average of polls which had wildly skewed the number.  But now, I can see the value in their doing that because by remaining in the average of their polls we are also able to notice this hopeful turnaround of Rasmussen back into the mainstream of polls.   Thank you Real Clear Politics for not following the Tales advice.  :-)
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Update on January 16, 2014:  It gets worse and worse and worse.  Today, Thursday January 16, while every other polling firm has Obama way down in popularity, near or below the 40% approval rating, Rasmussen Reports has Obama at 51% approval and 47% disapproval.  Gallup, during the exact same time frame has Obama's approval at 39%.  Even more mind boggling to me than the obvious bogus nature of the new Rasmussen Reports [since Scott Rasmussen left the organization] is why the greatly respected [and one of my favorite web sites] Real Clear Politics continues to carry them in their list of polls, which skews the numbers.  If Rasmussen Reports came out tomorrow with Obama at an 80% approval rating would RCP put that in their numbers??

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Update on January 7, 2014: I made a statement on my original post on October 21, 2013 that I was not accusing the Rasmussen Reports of being taken over by some left wing Democrats.  I'd like to now amend that statement.  Unless shown otherwise, I must assume that some liberal Democrats were the ones who took over the Rasmussen Reports web site from Scott Rasmussen when he left to to found a new group.  

Not only has the outlier status of Rasmussen in favoring the president in his approval rate continued for months, it has now become a joke to even call this an outlier poll.   I think bogus would be a better word for it.  In today's RCP average of all the polls [including the Rasmussen] the extreme outlier position of Rasmussen is magnified.


PollDate
Approve Disapprove Spread
RCP Average12/3 - 1/6
   42.5    53.6 -11.1
Rasmussen Reports1/4 - 1/6      49      49  tie



Even with the inclusion of the Rasmussen Poll skewing the results, there is a spread of approval rating for the president of a negative 11.1% with Obama's approval rating of 42.5%.   The Rasmussen joke, errrr poll, has president Obama's approval rating at 49% with a tie in the spread.  You're kidding me.   And if you check out the latest 7 polls, excluding Rasmussen from the RCP averages, the difference between all those 7 other polls and Rasmussen becomes even more stark.  Those show Obama with a 41.4% Approval with a 55.4% disapproval for a negative 14.0% spread, compared to Rasmussen having it even.  You've heard the song "more than a woman" from the Bee Gees.  There should be a song about the Rasmussen polls, "More than an outlier."
__________________________________________ Original post from Oct. 21, 2013: What is Going On With The Rasmussen Reports Poll:

Scott Rasmussen
For many of us political junkies, we like to follow the political opinion polls to gauge the mood of the country.   Two of the polls that I check regularly are the Rasmussen Reports polls and the Gallup opinion polls because both of those are updated daily. 

In the past, the Rasmussen Reports poll [I think unfairly] was perceived by most on the left to be skewed to favor Republicans.  In 2010 Nate Silver did an analysis of the different polling firms and in his opinion he found the Rasmussen Reports [headed by Scott Rasmussen] to be biased [skewed toward Republicans] and inaccurate.  I must admit, being a conservative Republican, I did go to the Rasmussen Reports web site first because it did seem like out of all the polls, their results would be more favorable to Republicans.  I just assumed, maybe out of hope, that they were the most accurate.  That seemed true up until these last couple of months after Mr. Rasmussen decided to leave his post as head of the Rasmussen Reports web site.


In July 2013, Scott Rasmussen left his post to found Rasmussen Media Group, LLC, a digital media firm whose stated mission is to "refine, enlarge, and empower the voice of mainstream America."


Rasmussen Reports say they have kept the same methodology since Scott left in order to preserve the legacy of the web site, but the results of their polls these last few weeks seemed to suggest something different.  While in the past if the Rasmussen polls were an outlier, they were almost always an outlier favored more to the Republican side compared to the other polls [for the most part-of course, not every time].   But if you have checked the Rasmussen Reports polls these last few weeks compared to the other opinion polls, and to the average of all the polls as noted in Real Clear Politics, they have been an outlier, but this time they have been an outlier favoring the president.    It would be one thing if their polls just showed a rise in the president's popularity that went along with all of the other polls, but that is not the case.  They have had president Obama's favorability rating at 50 and 51% many times these last few weeks, when no other polls have had him that high.  Their recent polls have been an outlier, favorable to the president by between 5-7% of the Real Clear Politics average of polls.  For example, as I am writing this post on Sunday, check out this average of polls from Real Clear Politics:




PollDateSampleApprove Disapprove Spread
RCP Average10/1 - 10/18--43.751.2 -7.5
Gallup10/16 - 10/181500 A4251 -9
Rasmussen Reports10/16 - 10/181500 LV5050Tie
The Economist/YouGov10/12 - 10/14691 RV4256 -14
Pew Research10/9 - 10/131504 A4351 -8
NBC News/Wall St. Jrnl10/7 - 10/9800 A4748 -1
Democracy Corps (D)10/6 - 10/8860 LV4749 -2
Reuters/Ipsos10/4 - 10/81300 A4054 -14
Associated Press/GfK10/3 - 10/71227 A3753 -16
FOX News10/1 - 10/2952 RV4549 -4



As you see in the average of all the polls, the president has a 43.7%  approval rating with a negative 7.5% spread [i.e., approval vs disapproval].    But the Rasmussen Reports poll showed the president with a 50% approval rating and a tie in the spread.  That is a big outlier in favor of the president and it has been like this for weeks now.


I am not accusing the Rasmussen Reports of being taken over by some liberal Democrats trying to skew the results in favor of the president, but I am really curious as to why, since Scott Rasmussen has left the Rasmussen Reports, the polls seem to have been an outlier in favor of the president, when in the past, if  they were an outlier, they were an outlier that seemed to disfavor the president.



pollster guru Nate Silver
Maybe, it is possible, that this is just a coincidence, but it still seems like a curious coincidence to me.  I wish someone with a lot more expertise in polls and methodology than me, like Nate Silver or someone like him, would do a comparative analysis of the Rasmussen Reports between the time of Scott Rasmussen's tenure to the time he has left the Rasmussen Reports.

Hmm, now that the Rasmussen Reports polls seem more favorable to the president, I wonder if Nate Silver would still label them as biased and inaccurate?