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Beer Belly of America 'Outliers'

Topics: Outliers Feature

Jed Lewison examines how Rasmussen's results differ from other pollsters.

Brendan Nyhan critiques a WSJ graph; more from Jon Chait and Andrew Gelman.

Jon Chait says Americans hate everybody.

Edward Tufte is appointed to Recovery Independent Advisory Panel (via Lundry).

A BBC poll shows
almost 4 in 5 people around the world think internet access is a fundamental right.

Newsmax and Zogby release data showing Americans miss Bill Clinton.

FlowingData highlights the "beer belly of America" (via Sullivan).

 

Comments
Mark Sanford:

The Rasmussen bashing that the left perpetually engages in is ridiculous. It is absolutely amazing that Jed Lewision tries to rebut Rasmussen by pointing out the Ipsos/McClatchy poll without mentioning that the results arrived at by that poll ARE AS MUCH OF AN OUTLIER IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION AS THE RASMUSSEN POLL. No other poll even comes close to showing the Democrats with a 10% point advantage in the Generic ballot. KOS'S OWN POLL, TAKEN DURING THE SAME TIME AS THE IPSOS/McCLATCHY POLL SHOWS ONLY A ONE POINT LEAD FOR THE DEMS. And we all know how accurate those Research 2000 polls are (and when I say accurate, I mean inaccurate).

Furthermore, when discussing Rasmussen, why does it always have to be pointed out to the geniuses on the left that Rasmussen polls likely voters, not Adults? Polling adults for the generic ballot is a worthless exercise.

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Ptolemy:

In addition to polling likely voters, Rasmussen Reports do not permit "undecided" as a reply to approval questions, which of course produces slightly different results. Jed Lewison (and others) would like approval polls to be categorical, with the results being some kind of bookkeeping entries which are OK as long as they're not in the red. Folly!

Even though it can be clearly seen in his own charts, Lewison misses the fact that the other polls actually look worse for Obama because they show his approval falling farther and faster than Rasmussen. Lewison notes "stratospheric" numbers early on for everybody but Rasmussen; yet over time they begin to converge with Rasmussen. Are the other pollsters becoming more and more pro-Republican?

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GARY WAGNER:

It is funny to see the Daily Kos whine and cry about polls they don't like. Have they ever looked at their own polls?

Rasmussen skews the polls right. Gallup, AP-GfK, ABC/Post, and Ipsos-Mclatchy skew the polls left. Put them all together and you have a good composite picture. Of course, Kos likes the polls that lean the same way as their polls and attack the polls that don't.

Jed's conclusion is that if you exclude polls you don't like that you get results you like better. Well isn't that just a bit of brilliance? You mean that you should just ignore everything you don't like and reality will become what you want it to be? Wow. I didn't know life was that simple.

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kariq:

The reason that people point out that Rasmussen is using a Likely voter model is because it is highly unusual to use a likely voter 8 months before an election, and in fact it's probably a bad idea. Very few likely voter screens work this far out from an election, and the preferred model at this time would be the registered voter or all Americans model.

Remember that in March 2008, Rasmussen was using a likely voter model that showed McCain leading Obama by 10 points. It also gave the Democrats only a 4 or 5 point lead in the generic House ballot at a time when everyone else was showing 10 points or more. Rasmussen eventually changed their model to bring their results into line with every other pollster's.

Who knows if history will repeat itself with Rasmussen's adjustment to its likely voter model, but it is notable that very few pollsters are using Likely Voters at this point, and there's a very good reason for that.

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