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US: Health Care (Rasmussen 8/7-8)


Rasmussen
8/7-8/09; 1,000 likely voters, 3% margin of error
Mode: IVR
(Rasmussen release)

National

When it comes to health care decisions, who do you fear the most: the federal government or private insurance companies?

51% Federal government
41% Private insurance companies

 

Comments
yokem55:

It's interesting how they phrased this. I wonder how the result might have differed if they had asked who they trusted more. Or if they had asked in two separate questions, on a scale of 1-10, how much do you trust the feds, vs. how much do you trust private for-profit insurance companies?

While Rasmussen has a good record on election results, his issue polls lean heavily right, and its largely driven by how he phrases his questions.

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ThatMarvelousApe:

Sounds good. 51% can choose to have private insurance and 41% can choose to have the public option. The remaining 9% of Rasmussen's "likely voters" can stick with what they have and decide what they'd ultimately prefer at a later date. Certainly, I trust that's the takeaway from this, and that Rassy's not trying to boil health care reform down to a false binary.

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ThatMarvelousApe:

Oops! 8%!

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jack:

How come all the polls conducted by Rasmussen happen to tell Republicans what they want to hear, and never what Democrats want to hear?

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ThatMarvelousApe:

jack,

This poll actually makes a pretty good case for reform. If you look at the crosstabs, the people who say they fear government more are older folks. In other words, people who have Medicare and don't even have to worry about insurance companies anymore. That being the case, since health care reform will create more options and regulations that would allow low and middle income senior citizens to keep or move over to a private insurance program, the poll results suggest that health care reform would accommodate the fears of people across the ideological spectrum.

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Stephen_W:

At least Raz no longer tries to mask the bias in his questions. "Who do you fear the most?" Are you kidding me, how is this guy still relevant as a pollster?

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TruthMeter:

"Are you kidding me, how is this guy still relevant as a pollster?"

Why don't you ask Nate Silver?

http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2008/10/tracking-poll-primer.html

“In summation, none of these tracking polls are perfect, although Rasmussen — with its large sample size and high pollster rating — would probably be the one I’d want with me on a desert island. Conversely, the only one of the trackers that I consider obviously dubious is Zogby.”

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IdahoMulato:

jack

You're right. Rasmussen polls are intended to make republicans and right wing conservatives happy and to give Fox News and other right wing tal-show hosts like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck et al good talking points. It's definitely intended for you so treat it with the contempt it deserves.

However, I don't think they're bad pollsters. Only take them seriously when elections are a few days to the polls. They tend to massage the numbers in favor of Republicans/ conservatives for an intended purpose.


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GOPoverhaul:

@ThatMarvelousApe

It's not so simple that 51% can keep their private insurance and 41% can have the public option. Great, 41% can have the public option at the expense of the top 5% of the country. Then, when other bills come up, the top 5% can pay for those items. However, even with the surtax or the "cadillac" plans taxed, the CBO and AP still say the numbers don't add up. Futhermore, with Obama supporting a single payer system as he stated in 2003 and Barney Frank stating the easiest way to get to single payer is through a public option, 51% of Americans are still upset or fearful of the government. While I'm as wary of Rasmussen numbers as most people have become, some other numbers still indicate people are afraid this plan is not going to work as advertised. Just my take on stating it's not as simple as a 51% 41% choice.

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dcastillo82:

It seems that this poll is similar to all the polls reflecting the demise of the President's job approval. More than anything it just shows how strongly Republicans oppose the president. Democrats are solidly behind him on this (and last I recall, Democrats are still the largest share of the electorate) and independents are against healthcare reform by a small margin. They could come to support the reform depending on how the rest of this month goes. Other polls out there show an increase in support among voters after key components of the plan are explained. It's up to the congressional Democrats and the President to do that explaining to the people and combat the misinformation from the far right. (ie. Death Panels, Grandma killing, mandatory abortions, the demise of private insurance, and all the other bs)

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jack:

Nate Silver's praise of Rasmussen referred to ELECTION polls. Rasmussen cannot afford to make crappy polls during the days prior to an election, because the result would rat him out.

In non-election polls, however, there is no accountability, so a pollster can say whatever the hell he wants. In the absence of a referendum, no one will ever know if it's true that Rasmussen's statistics on "fear" are accurate.

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