Surprise! Rasmussen (a notoriously right-wing pollster) has discovered a “sudden” shift in the race that has Obama in a tie with Romney for the first time since just before the first debate.
Rasmussen is using a tracking poll that uses a moving average over a three day period. So this is Rasmussen’s last chance to move his polls back in line with the other pollsters whose results have proved more accurate.
Nate Silver did a long series of reports on Rasmussen in 2010, first publishing articles in Rasmussen’s defense, then attributing Rasmussen’s apparent GOP bias to a ‘house effect’, then finding that the analysis did not support a ‘house effect’ explanation, and finally concluding that whatever the reason, Rasmussen’s results in the 2010 mid-terms just stunk.
Is it worth skewing polls?
A good poll result certainly cheers the party workers and helps generate enthusiasm for get out the vote efforts (it probably also doesn’t hurt the candidate who needs some “good news” for that next fundraising pitch). But relying on fraudulent polls causes money and resources to be poured into races the party has little chance of winning. As Markos Moulitsas discovered when he concluded that the Research 2000 polls that the Daily Kos had paid for were ‘unreliable’.
Scam polls provide fuel for Scam PACs that circulate begging letters filled with dire predictions if Democrats are elected. The money donated in response is then reinvested into more begging letters with the operators of the scam PAC taking a large cut as ‘management fees’.
Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS PAC has managed to collect and burn through an astonishing $168 million this cycle. How many additional GOP senators and congressmen has that bought? Looking at the polls right now, the Democrats look likely to match or even exceed the 2006 result, which was itself an exceptionally good year. Heck, Rove could have spent 0$ to achieve that kind of “success.”
Indiana should have been a safe hold for outgoing GOP Senator Dick Lugar, who lost to a Tea Partier in the primaries. Now, as a result, the seat might very well go to Democrats as voters recoil from Richard “God wants women to have rape-babies” Mourdock.
For the past twenty years, the Republican party has been preaching the virtue of self interest. So it really shouldn’t be so surprising that they would run their party along the same lines. And I don’t mean that they’re looking after the interests of their party. They’re looking after their own wallet.