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Did Bush White House Ever Go After Pollsters?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:40 am - January 3, 2010.
Filed under: National Politics

As Robert Gibbs lashed out at Gallup last month?

And while the Bush White House may not have reacted as peevishly as did the Obama White House to its plummeting poll numbers, some on the right (including yours truly) have faulted a number of the “mainstream” polls for tilting left and have done so at least since the dawn of the Reagan Era.  Thus, it’s practically welcome news for us to hear about Dems ripping Rasmussen.

They’re saying some of the same things about Rasmussen’s polls that we’ve been saying about the CBS/New York Times poll, the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll and the various AP polls, that they tilt toward the opposing party, Rasmussen toward Republicans, the others toward Democrats:

Nothing, however, sets off liberal teeth gnashing more than Rasmussen’s daily presidential tracking polls, which throughout the year have consistently placed Obama’s approval numbers around 5 percentage points lower than other polling outfits.

Seems some of the other polls show Republicans performing about 5 percentage points lower than their actual standing.  Despite Democratic bellyaching, Rasmussen is remarkably accurate, having closely forecast the results in the past two presidential elections.  (“Rasmussen’s final poll of the 2008 general election — showing Obama defeating Arizona Sen. John McCain 52 percent to 46 percent — closely mirrored the election’s outcome.“)

What really gets the lefties is that Rasmussen dares ask the kind of questions that other pollsters don’t ask:

“I think they write their questions in a way that supports a conservative interpretation of the world,” said [Democratic pollster Mark] Mellman. “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.”

Um, Mark, some Republicans would say the mainstream pollsters ask questions which support a liberal interpretation of the world.   Just scan the conservative blogs any time a major poll comes out and you’ll find someone wondering about the liberal nature of the questions asked.

Now, that Democrats and others on the left are grousing about Rasmussen, will they now take more seriously conservative grumbling about the liberal nature of some of the “mainstream” polls?

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40 Comments

  1. […] To be put into the “Obama Boo Hoo” file… great post at GayPatriot: Did Bush White House Ever Go After Pollsters? […]

    Pingback by Unacceptable: Team Obama Knew 3 Days before Christmas Day Jihadist Attack of Escalating Holiday Terrorist Threats (video) « Frugal Café Blog Zone — January 3, 2010 @ 5:23 am - January 3, 2010

  2. One day they praise Rasmussen for providing poll numbers they like. The next day, Baghdad Bob Gibbs throws them under the bus. Just like the way Chairman Dumbass throws the CIA under the bus and praises them the next when agents die in the line of duty.

    Like DICK said, “shame, shame”.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — January 3, 2010 @ 6:24 am - January 3, 2010

  3. We are dealing with spoiled children.

    And, come November 2010, they will be out in time-out for a loooooong time.

    Comment by Robert Clay — January 3, 2010 @ 7:20 am - January 3, 2010

  4. The Bush WH rarely went “after” anyone…they were pathetically low key at DEFENDING themselves and it was rather aggravating!

    Comment by Jaded — January 3, 2010 @ 7:24 am - January 3, 2010

  5. So what else is new ?

    Comment by martin J smith — January 3, 2010 @ 8:03 am - January 3, 2010

  6. Actually, I can recall some quiet GOP grousing about Zogby over the years. Especially, since it’s his brother who’s so active in radical left wing causes, no?

    But, your point is well taken. It was never at the level of public pronouncements. Just bad form no matter how you slice it.

    That and Zogby has just proved more unreliable over time and Rasmussen less so. See! the market has a way of triumphing after all!

    Best wishes,
    -MFS

    Comment by MFS — January 3, 2010 @ 9:37 am - January 3, 2010

  7. I agree with jaded: stupid Bush never defended himself against his transgressors and enemies (Democrat assholes) and he paid the price in polling. Stupid republicans in general acted like a bunch of pussies during the Bush years, and subsequently lost a shitload of seats in both Houses of Congress. They allowed themselves to be bullied by the minority, and foolishly split up committee chairs 50/50 to prove they could play nice with a bunch of bitches that showed they never would play nice with them.

    Now Osambo is being allowed to push all of his communist/traitorous crap along and in the process, destroy the foundation of our country’s economy: capitalism. Way to go Republican pussies! Now get some balls and beat these bunch of panty-waists Democrats with ball bats with nails driven through them. Liberals are weak in body and mind, by nature, so just do it!!!

    Comment by notgaybutpatriotic — January 3, 2010 @ 9:41 am - January 3, 2010

  8. So aparently the money they were paying Tano to bash Rasmussen wasn’t working out.

    Comment by The_Livewire — January 3, 2010 @ 10:46 am - January 3, 2010

  9. The left dominated media uses polling to create the news line they want to promote. The Lord only knows how many polls they have taken which showed the “wrong” results for their template and they consequently deep sixed.

    The White House has “internal polling” upon which they come to rely. Gibbs cherry picks the public polls he praises and disses the rest. That does not mean that Gibbs is not also playing defense since he knows full well what the WH “internal polling” is showing.

    Rasmussen is likely pulling the curtain back on what the WH “internal polling” is showing and Gibbs has to distract the attention on the Rasmussen poll results. Since the Obama Administration is a personality driven cult, Gibbs is there to tear down the enemy …… in this case a frontal assault on the strength of the Obama cult status.

    Comment by heliotrope — January 3, 2010 @ 10:50 am - January 3, 2010

  10. Y’all really do need to deal with the facts of the matter.

    Here is a question like the one you found on your SATs.
    Which one of the following is not like the others?

    plus 9
    plus 3
    plus 10
    plus 1
    plus 14
    plus 3
    plus 4
    plus 9
    plus 5
    plus 6
    minus 7

    Yeah – that is the reported spread between approval and disapproval for Obama in 11 different polls. And I do believe that represents ALL the polling firms that ask this question – you can find this list on RealClear Politics (a Republican site).

    As I have pointed out to you guys before, this result is not an anomoly. You can find this almost every day – Rasmussen (yeah, they are last one on the list) is a gross outlier – on this day, fully 8 points lower than the next lowest poll. This has gone on for years – with Ras being 5-7 points higher during the Bush years.

    So you have to face the fact that Rasmussen is ridiculously biased versus ALL other polling outfits. If they are right, then everyone else is wrong.

    And dont give me this ‘they are the best polling firm crap”. The study done that shows that, often referenced here, actually showed them tied for first, with Pew (on the list above, Pew records a plus 9). And both Pew and Ras were a statistically insignificant bit better than a whole group of other polls. In other words, many polling firms were clumped together, and around the actual result in the election. Pew still clumps together with many other polls – it is Ras alone that is horribly skewed.

    The other site that aggregates approval polls is Pollster.com. They have a neat little feature where you can add or subtract individual polls from the trend lines to see the effect. Andrew did the experiment a few weeks ago -plotting out Rasmussen’s numbers, and then everyone elses. You can see how ridiculous Ras’s results are, compared to EVERY OTHER POLL.

    Comment by Tano — January 3, 2010 @ 11:22 am - January 3, 2010

  11. Tano!

    Your string of polls all were taken on the same day and asked the same questions and polled in the same manner and used the same “cross sections” right?

    I thought so.

    Let’s put it this way: you have drawn trend lines on the 11 polls you used in your list and over time you are able to demonstrate their reliability, right?

    Your professorial comments at #7 are just like the chatter we heard from the consensus man made global warming science community concerning the hockey stick graph.

    (I think I saw you at the mall demonstrating replacement windows for chicken coops).

    Comment by heliotrope — January 3, 2010 @ 11:51 am - January 3, 2010

  12. Now, that Democrats and others on the left are grousing about Rasmussen, will they now take more seriously conservative grumbling about the liberal nature of some of the “mainstream” polls?

    Haha – fat chance.

    As the saying goes: there is only one poll that counts, and it’s the one on Election Day. The rest is spin. And the lefties are all about using spin to gain or keep their one real object in American public life: power.

    Having said that: It is a fact that Rasmussen was accurate in 2008 and is only continuing to use the method that worked before. While the “mainstream” pollsters routinely over-sample Democrats. In other words, the conservative / pro-Rasmussen side of this debate is the objectively correct one.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — January 3, 2010 @ 12:03 pm - January 3, 2010

  13. Is Tano and his ilk still trying to say that Obamas polling is great and shows a leader in charge and not losing the confidence of the American people? Even the nutts on the left know his standing has plummeted. Look at the Dem congress people chosing to retire, not run again or the prospective Dem candidates bowing out. They know they are going to get slaughtered in 2010. The sky is in fact falling for liberals and socialism. hehe

    Comment by Gene in Pennsylvania — January 3, 2010 @ 12:47 pm - January 3, 2010

  14. Independent pollster Rasmussen has some fascinating polling on next years governors races as well.
    It looks like the liberal Democrats are going to lose in OH PA CO and even the peoples republic of Michigan by substantial margins. Republicans will hold CA where the Dems will run wing nutt Jerry Brown against Meg Whittman.
    Republicans will also hold MN, FLA, and AZ. No where is there good news for the liberals. Even in socialist MA, D Patrick is in a competitive race. It looks like a Republican rout in the Governors races. Three cheers for FREEDOM! More tea parties, more elections!

    Comment by Gene in Pennsylvania — January 3, 2010 @ 1:00 pm - January 3, 2010

  15. i think the astounding retaliatory childishness of the WH et al is the important point here.

    it’s part of their committment to kill the messenger, which changes the psyche of the entire populace insofar as the ability and right to speak out.

    this is a grave and serious injury to the heart of the United States body and should be understood as such.

    Comment by ShyAsrai — January 3, 2010 @ 1:04 pm - January 3, 2010

  16. C’mon, Tano, whack-a-mole is no fun if the mole hides in the basement.

    Comment by heliotrope — January 3, 2010 @ 1:08 pm - January 3, 2010

  17. Plain and simple, Rasmussen’s polling tends to more accurately reflect actual election results because Rasmussen polls likely voters instead of general populace. And the only poll that really counts is indeed the one held election day….

    Campaign managers know which polls to watch. And they’re not the general-population ones.

    Comment by Tully — January 3, 2010 @ 1:44 pm - January 3, 2010

  18. I wonder what would cause the President to actually cancel his vacation and hold to his pledge to “not rest til the perpatrators of the Christmas day terror attack are all captured.” It’s been 9 days since the attack, 4 days since he got his detailed briefing. The ditherer in chief from the Afghanistan surge is again trying to get educated up on a subject he had no patience for.

    Comment by Gene in Pennsylvania — January 3, 2010 @ 2:23 pm - January 3, 2010

  19. So you have to face the fact that Rasmussen is ridiculously biased versus ALL other polling outfits.

    So if they suck so badly, why does the WH quote them one day and throw them under the bus the next? They have no problem using Rasmussen when it suits them.

    If they suck so badly, why pay them any mind at all?

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — January 3, 2010 @ 4:56 pm - January 3, 2010

  20. It can take a bit to read Harry Potter, Gene.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — January 3, 2010 @ 4:58 pm - January 3, 2010

  21. So you have to face the fact that Rasmussen is ridiculously biased versus ALL other polling outfits.

    Oh my! Look how Tano proves your point with his spinning head, gnashing teeth and flying spittle!

    No, Tardo, the fact that Rasmussen has different results does not make those results less accurate. I know you libs dont understand logic but it doesnt work that way. The truth is not an average of what all the pollsters say it is, the truth is the truth. And accuracy is determined by who comes closest to it.

    We already know that Rasmussen is THE MOST ACCURATE because his poll results come closest to matching real election results — according to an independent university study.

    And sorry, but PEW, like the rest of the biased polls you cling to, CHANGE THEIR METHODOLOGY when the election draws near. Pew polls “Adults” to get the results they want most of the year, then swithces to polling likely voters, like Rasmussen, when the election draws near, to get the most accurate election results.

    Most of the polls you cite do the same.

    Rasmussen does not change his methodology, he always polls the people who are going to vote, which is why his polls are consistently the most accurate, throughout the year.

    Which also illustrates that it is the polls YOU cite that are the most biased. They change their methodology to get the results they want, ask biased questions, drastically oversample Democrats, and when even Democrats as a group are souring on Obama, they drastically oversample black people, as I saw one major liberal pollster do the other week. Why? Because that group supports Obama FAR more than any other, so oversampling them gives the most drastic swing to the left.

    But continue frothing at the mouth and gnashing your teeth, it doesnt change the facts, but it is deeply amusing.

    Comment by American Elephant — January 3, 2010 @ 5:50 pm - January 3, 2010

  22. Hey I know why the nutty leftist liberals hate rasmussen. He’s not only accurate but is a leading indicator. He has shown the Obama plunge earlier than any other pollster. Another testament to his methods.

    Comment by Gene in Pennsylvania — January 3, 2010 @ 6:01 pm - January 3, 2010

  23. Sorry, Tano, links to the celebrated gynecologist “Doc” Sullivan don’t count as serious analysis. Because no one ever votes on whether or not they approve a president, it’s near impossible to determine the accuracy of presidential approval surveys as it to measure the accuracy electoral polls–and on that score, Rasmussen is remarkably accurate.

    If you’re going to come on this site and claim, as you have in past threads that you’re here to engage us, why instead of addressing my points do you just spit out left-wing talking points?

    You bring up the gap in various polls between the president’s approval and disapproval as other polls all seem to register lower levels of disapproval, but also have a larger number of failure to states. Only two polls show the approval outside a narrow range of 46-51 and given the standard margin of error, that puts Rasmussen right with all the others and CNN and AP as the outliers.

    But, you might have seen that had you actually looked at the polling data instead of spitting out liberal talking points.

    So, please, Tano, if you’re going to come to this blog and claim you’re here to engage us and offer a liberal point of view, apply that liberal point of view to the points I’ve made.

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — January 3, 2010 @ 7:38 pm - January 3, 2010

  24. “the celebrated gynecologist “Doc” Sullivan ”

    Snort!

    Comment by American Elephant — January 3, 2010 @ 7:47 pm - January 3, 2010

  25. The President wasn’t on TV today…did I miss something?

    Comment by Gene in Pennsylvania — January 3, 2010 @ 7:59 pm - January 3, 2010

  26. #20: TGC – I don’t see Barry reading Harry Potter. The characters in the HP novels recognize evil (we learn that Voldemort comes from a bad family but it’s never seen as an excuse).

    I don’t recall any pacifist movement advocating that the Death Eaters just need to be understood and the Ministry is certainly not trusted to do much about it.

    In the last HP, the “wireless” acts as a bypass around the MSM where bloggers get the truth out.

    In the end, the bad guy gets it.

    (And I know way too much about this… hmmm)

    Comment by SoCalRobert — January 3, 2010 @ 8:00 pm - January 3, 2010

  27. Dan,

    Tano’s silence on any thread where the president’s actions are indefensible, speaks volumes in and of themselves.

    Comment by The_Livewire — January 3, 2010 @ 8:16 pm - January 3, 2010

  28. It’s not even bloggers SoCal, its conservative talk radio! And government is a massive bureaucratic nightmare that accomplishes nothing (except the military) and is portrayed as almost as bad as the bad guys.

    Comment by American Elephant — January 3, 2010 @ 8:39 pm - January 3, 2010

  29. I love watching the polls. And the liberals. When the polls agree with them they love them….when they don’t, they say they never like them. I love watching the libs falling all over themselves when the polls aren’t in they’re favor.

    Comment by Robert "the infidel" Garding — January 3, 2010 @ 10:22 pm - January 3, 2010

  30. “Sorry, Tano, links to the celebrated gynecologist “Doc” Sullivan don’t count as serious analysis”

    The analysis that Andrew did was pretty simple and straightforward, and can be repeated by anyone, irrespective of their political ideology. Just go to pollster.com, use the “Tools” function in the graphs, and remove Rasmussen – and see the result. Then go back and remove everyone else except Rasmussen, and see the result. That is all Andrew did, and he posted the resulting graphs.

    How can you argue that this demonstration is underminded by who Andrew is, or whatever problem you have with him.
    (btw, I saw him, a few weeks ago, refer to you as an old friend. Some friend!)

    ” Because no one ever votes on whether or not they approve a president, it’s near impossible to determine the accuracy of presidential approval surveys”

    Well that is obviously true – which is why I stated that either Rasmussen is right and everyone else is wrong, or v.v.

    “electoral polls–and on that score, Rasmussen is remarkably accurate.’

    And I referenced that study too – to point out that they were tied with Pew on the final results for 08, but several other firms were statistically indistinguishble from the two first place finishers. So yeah, they can do good work – that makes their performance on these approval polls even more problematical.

    “apply that liberal point of view to the points I’ve made.”

    Was kinda hard to track your point. On the one hand you seem to be defending Rasmussen as accurate – on the other hand you seem to be saying that they are just doing for the right what the other polling firms do for the left.

    Comment by Tano — January 4, 2010 @ 12:13 am - January 4, 2010

  31. I’m still wondering if Tardo can explain why the liberals are willing to let more than 400,000 people die.

    Any day now, Tardo. I’m sure I’m not the only one who would love to know.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — January 4, 2010 @ 12:24 am - January 4, 2010

  32. “Osambo”? notgaybutpatriotic???

    That’s not cool. Racism fail or attempted irony fail.

    Comment by Hans Stroo — January 4, 2010 @ 5:36 am - January 4, 2010

  33. The overall point is that Chairman Maobama sucks ass. Tardo just wants to quibble over how badly.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — January 4, 2010 @ 8:26 am - January 4, 2010

  34. […] (Video) Green Hell Blog: Electricity projected to skyrocket in Georgia under carbon law GayPatriot: Did Bush White House Ever Go After Pollsters? Hot Air: Dems declare war on Rasmussen? Politico: Low favorables: Dems rip Rasmussen Beltway Blips: […]

    Pingback by Winners of the 2009 “Worst of Team Obama Round-Up” Award « Frugal Café Blog Zone — January 4, 2010 @ 11:20 am - January 4, 2010

  35. Good golly,

    I went to pollster.com on Tano’s advice.

    If you are into the calculus of probability and statistics, you might enjoy your time there. It is certainly much ado about nothing.

    Playing around with the results of polling without attention to the methodology used in each poll is a fool’s errand.

    However, if you are up to your chin in reading polls and tea leaves, I image it is the site to access.

    Rasmussen is in the business of selling his polling services. He seems to be in business. If Sears only sold shoes for the right foot, they would soon be out of the shoe business except for the occasional peg-leg.

    Comment by heliotrope — January 4, 2010 @ 11:26 am - January 4, 2010

  36. TGC are u referring to Harry Reid saying we needed to pass Obamacare immediately because 4000 or 40000 people per day were dying because they didn’t get medical care?

    Comment by Gene in Pennsylvania — January 4, 2010 @ 1:48 pm - January 4, 2010

  37. […] Scott Rasmussen as to Why America Against Democrat Agenda … That’s Your Plan? GayPatriot: Did Bush White House Ever Go After Pollsters? Gateway Pundit: It Has Begun… Dems Lash Out at Pollster For Not Reporting More Favorable […]

    Pingback by White House Thought THIS Was a Good Photo? ‘Smug-faced Obama Facing Down Biden’ Pic Speaks Volumes « Frugal Café Blog Zone — January 4, 2010 @ 2:55 pm - January 4, 2010

  38. I guess so. He made the statement that 2 people die every 10 minutes due to a lack of health care, which anybody can. That would mean that over 400,000 people will die before ObamaCareless would even go into effect.

    I’ve asked Tardo several times if he supports this, but he tends to disappear apparently lacking the stones to answer. Then Tim, ghillie or boob shows back up. He can spin a pile of bullshit, but he can’t answer questions.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — January 4, 2010 @ 6:45 pm - January 4, 2010

  39. #37 ahhh
    So between now and when the Senate returns, all those deaths are on the hands of Democrats. How tragic.
    Thanks TGC.

    Comment by Gene in Pennsylvania — January 4, 2010 @ 6:54 pm - January 4, 2010

  40. […] pollster left-wingers love to hate was the first to show Obama’s approval rating dipping below 50%.   Now the latest CBS News […]

    Pingback by GayPatriot » As goes Rasmussen . . — January 12, 2010 @ 4:57 pm - January 12, 2010

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