Monday, January 4, 2010

The Collective Shoots The Messenger

As we’ve said before, leftist need enemies. Their beliefs don’t work in the real world and they lack the insight and introspective to understand that. So they explain their failures by finding enemies who “undermined” them. You see this in their claims that “socialism works, if only it would be done right,” you see it in their claims that their schemes would work if only we didn’t allow alternatives, and you see it in their claims that their failures are the result of dark forces of capitalists, racists, or secret cabals of “those who would oppose.” They have new enemy: Scott Rasmussen.

Scott Rasmussen, a co-founder of ESPN, runs Rasmussen Reports, a polling outfit that we have often cited to at Commentarama. He’s been at it for as long as I can remember and has earned national renown from both sides for his accuracy and impartiality.

The Wall Street Journal and leftist rag Slate Magazine declared Rasmussen Reports to be one of the most accurate polling firms for the 2004 and 2006 Presidential elections. Fordham University found Rasmussen to be the most accurate national polling firm for the 2008 election. Leftist website FiveThirtyEight awarded Rasmussen its third highest mark for accuracy in 2008. Rasmussen also was the closest to predicting the outcome of the New Jersey governor’s race this year and he was the first to show Obama narrowing the gap with Hillary Clinton in 2008.

But that was then and this is now and something has changed. What changed? In 2004-2008, Rasmussen’s results were generally favorable to leftists. Now they’re not. Suddenly, Rasmussen is reporting results that show the left in serious trouble. Could this mean that the public has turned against the left? No, of course not! Don’t be silly! Rasmussen must be a secret Republican agent!!

That’s right. These same people who once praised him now claim that his polls “are, at best, the result of a flawed polling model and, at worst, designed to undermine Democratic politicians and the party’s national agenda.” The only thing missing from this quote is the inevitable: “Ve are beink betrayed Mein Fuhrer!”

Whines Eric Boehlert, a senior fellow with Media Matters, “His data looks like it all comes out of the Republican National Committee.” Kill him!!

Others on the left insist that Rasmussen “feeds conservative talkers a daily trove of negative numbers that provide grist for attacks on Obama and the Democratic Party.” Off with his head!!

As proof, they note that Rasmussen’s tracking poll has consistently shown Obama’s support 5% lower than other polling outfits, like the CNN “poll” which won’t release its methodology, or the NBC “poll” which seems to think a poll that includes two Democrats for every Republican is a fair poll, or the “poll” of the CBS newsroom -- you know the one, the one that showed Obama with 110% support.

“He’s been underpolling Obama all year! People start thinking, ‘There’s something going on here,’” screeched Eric Boehlert, before he probably added: “Ve are beink betrayed!”

Democratic, and thus unbiased, pollster Mark Mellman accused Rasmussen of writing their questions to elicit negative responses about der Fuhrer and the National Democratic Party: “I think (doubt that) they write their questions in a way that supports a conservative interpretation of the world. In general, they tend to be among the worst polls for Democrats, and they phrase questions in ways that elicit less support for the Democratic point of view.” In other words, they don’t shade their questions to get liberal responses like the other outfits.

The Daily Kos mindlessly repeats these talking points as well and adds a little hate.

Even Hollywood has gotten into the act, with Jimmy Fallon making fun of Rasmussen. . . ok, I’m sorry, let me correct that. Fallon really isn’t Hollywood, he’s a TV hack, and nothing he’s ever done is funny, so let me rephrase that: even a late-night television hack has heaped ridicule on Rasmussen.

Alan Abramowitz, a “political scientist” from Emory University, which I understand to be a trade school for Druids, makes the following paranoid claim: “My guess is that [Rasmussen’s sample] is heavily skewed toward older, white, Republican voters.” Oh you damn, dirty, old white people!

There have been no calls yet to outlaw Rasmussen or to put him in a re-education camp, but with leftists, it’s only a matter of time.

For his part, Rasmussen takes it all in stride, responding: “It’s the adage that if you don’t like the message, shoot the messenger.” Careful Mr. Rasmussen, they might take you up on that.

All in all, I find this rather fantastic. The fact that the left is so upset by this tells me that they’ve run out of other excuses. When they start shooting the messenger, that means they’ve given up hope on the current situation. This should be very good news for America.


Unknown said...

Andrew: Shooting the messenger is right. Rasmussen was the first pollster to show Obama catching up and pulling ahead of Clinton, and got within a tenth of a percent in calling the November election. Overall, among the major pollsters, his record appear to be in third place or higher. To quote Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men: "The truth!? You can't handle the truth."

I expected the Democrats to spin the Rasmussen poll, but I really didn't expect this kind of vitriol. You're right--it shows their desperation.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, I agree. This kind of vitriol is a clear indication that they don't have an answer and that they're worried. They want him to shut up because they can't spin the message and the more people listen to him, the more it will become a fait acompli as the bandwagon types discover the bandwagon.

patti said...

haha, i love when we simultaneously poke holes in their stupid crybaby arguments. that i could make a clear argument against them AND tie in the wizard of oz with a fevered and filled-with-snot head doesn't bode well for their poor manipulation skilz, trying to blame someone other than who's actually responsible for barry's falling numbers..

(i am hoping this makes sense as the fever still has its grip on me)

CrispyRice said...

This is indeed very good news. Yay.

AndrewPrice said...

CrispyRice, It is good news. What a great way to start the year!

AndrewPrice said...

Patti, Sorry to hear about the fever, hope you get better. It makes sense, and I loved the Wizard of Oz reference.

Writer X said...

Jimmy Fallon is still on the air?

The more hysterical the Left becomes, the sillier they look. The proof will be in the 2010 Nov. elections. No doubt they'll blame their losses on global warming. And Bush.

StanH said...

Rasmussen is simply the best poll, at election time his poll is the one to watch as the closest predictor, and I believe he started in ’98. Liberals will never let facts get in the way of their story, and good God the spin. Rasmussen is a daily reminder how crappy Barry is doing, and we can’t have that. I agree it is another sigh of fear on the left - - they should be!

Note: Emory University is a (liberal) professional school in the Atlanta area, doctors, lawyers. My Dad’s Alma mater.

AndrewPrice said...

Writer X, I understand that they're planning to run against Bush, so I'm sure they'll definitely try to blame him when they lose!

AndrewPrice said...

Stan, I think I like my version better. So your dad's a druid huh? ;-)

I've found Rasmussen to be the best as well. I actually look at the methodology of who they sample and his samples always strike me as more representative of the public at large. The others tend to over include Democrats.

Tennessee Jed said...

I have always found Rasmussen to be accurate so I was surprised when Brett Baer mentioned the story on his show tonight, at least until I found the critics were leftist bloggers. Polling, to be sure, can be pushed, pulled, and skewered every which way to pretty much come up with whatever answer one desires.

Someone pointed out recently that now that Obama is on the hot seat, polls would be taken less often by the left wing sources who liked to daily pound Bush. Rasmussen is, of course, featured a lot by Fox and he doesn't follow the liberal push poll template, so of course the leftist blogosphere has their panties in a bunch.

My feeling is unless one can back up their accusations with specific inaccuracies found in the questions, methodology, or sampling groups, any criticism is just that--partisan suspicions.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, They point to various complaints, but I didn't include those because they weren't valid.

For example, they used the old liberal complaint that Rasmussen wasn't polling "all of America" and if he'd only get the part of the country that couldn't be polled, he'd find they're all super-liberals. I've heard that one for thirty years now and have yet to find those people.

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