Rasmussen Reports

Rasmussen Reports

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Rasmussen Reports is an American media company that publishes and distributes information based on public opinion polling
Opinion poll
An opinion poll, sometimes simply referred to as a poll is a survey of public opinion from a particular sample. Opinion polls are usually designed to represent the opinions of a population by conducting a series of questions and then extrapolating generalities in ratio or within confidence...

. Founded by pollster Scott Rasmussen
Scott Rasmussen
Scott W. Rasmussen is the founder and president of Rasmussen Reports. He is an American political analyst, author, speaker, and public opinion pollster...

 in 2003, the company updates daily indexes including the President's job approval rating, and provides public opinion data, analysis, and commentary, along with coverage of business, economic, and lifestyle issues. The company claims to have the "most comprehensive public opinion data" and uses the slogan, "If it's in the news, it's in our polls".

History


Scott Rasmussen founded the polling company, GrassRoots Research, in 1995. His company, Rasmussen Research, was bought by TownPagesNet.com for about $4.5 million in ordinary shares in 1999. In 2003, Rasmussen founded Rasmussen Reports, based in Asbury Park, New Jersey
Asbury Park, New Jersey
Asbury Park is a city in Monmouth County, New Jersey, United States, located on the Jersey Shore and part of the New York City Metropolitan Area. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city population was 16,116. The city is known for its rich musical history, including its association with...

; he is currently the president of the company.

Rasmussen Reports polls make use of automated public opinion polling, involving pre-recorded telephone inquiries. These types of polls are believed to produce results at low cost, although some traditional pollsters are skeptical of this methodology and prefer traditional, operator-assisted polling techniques. In addition to political polling, Rasmussen provides public opinion data, analysis, and commentary, along with coverage of business, economic, and lifestyle issues. He describes himself as a market-driven public opinion pollster.

Today


Rasmussen Reports, an electronic media organization, publishes editorial content several times daily on a news cycle. Its content is primarily based upon the company’s independent public opinion surveys, the topics for which are inspired by the week’s media headlines. The company’s Web site, www.RasmussenReports.com, reports on politics, business, and lifestyle issues.

Rasmussen Reports and Gallup are the only two firms that produce daily tracking polls. Both measure the President’s Job Approval on a daily basis. Gallup
The Gallup Organization
The Gallup Organization, is primarily a research-based performance-management consulting company. Some of Gallup's key practice areas are - Employee Engagement, Customer Engagement and Well-Being. Gallup has over 40 offices in 27 countries. World headquarters are in Washington, D.C. Operational...

 measures the Approval among all adults while Rasmussen measures it among Likely Voters. Generally, polls of all adults produce results that are more favorable to Democrats than polls of Likely Voters. However, the ratings produced by both firms are quite similar and show the same trends. Each week, Rasmussen Reports updates a Generic Congressional Ballot Poll and a measure of whether the country is heading in the right direction.

Since 2009, Rasmussen Reports has tracked attitudes about the health care reform legislation on a weekly basis. Since the bill became law, Rasmussen Reports has consistently measured support for repeal of the law. The company also provides regular updates on topics including global warming and energy issues, housing, the war on terror, the mood of America, Congress and the Supreme Court, importance of issues, partisan trust and trends.

Rasmussen Reports frequently reports polls showing the gap between what it labels "Mainstream Voters" and the what it labels the "Political Class". Often, the gap between the Rasmussen-identified Mainstream and the Political Class is bigger than the gap between Republicans and Democrats.

In the business realm, Rasmussen Reports released daily updates of Consumer and Investor Confidence with daily tracking back to 2002. The broad trends are similar to measures produced by the Conference Board and University of Michigan, but Rasmussen is the only consumer confidence measure updated daily. The firm also releases a monthly Rasmussen Employment Index, a U.S. Consumer Spending Index and Small Business Watch, sponsored by Discover
Discover Financial
Discover Financial Services is an American financial services company, which issues the Discover Card and operates the Discover and Pulse networks...

  and a Financial Security Index, sponsored by Country Financial Insurance.

Rasmussen Reports generates revenue by selling advertising, sponsorships, and Platinum Service subscriptions.

All field work (the automated survey calls) for Rasmussen Reports polls is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, a firm that licensed methodology developed by Scott Rasmussen
Scott Rasmussen
Scott W. Rasmussen is the founder and president of Rasmussen Reports. He is an American political analyst, author, speaker, and public opinion pollster...

 and uses of automated public opinion polling, involving pre-recorded telephone surveys.

Use


Polls by Rasmussen Reports are cited regularly by multiple major news sources, and Rasmussen has appeared as a guest analyst on a number of news broadcasts, including the Fox News Channel
Fox News Channel
Fox News Channel , often called Fox News, is a cable and satellite television news channel owned by the Fox Entertainment Group, a subsidiary of News Corporation...

, the BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

, CNN
CNN
Cable News Network is a U.S. cable news channel founded in 1980 by Ted Turner. Upon its launch, CNN was the first channel to provide 24-hour television news coverage, and the first all-news television channel in the United States...

, NPR
NPR
NPR, formerly National Public Radio, is a privately and publicly funded non-profit membership media organization that serves as a national syndicator to a network of 900 public radio stations in the United States. NPR was created in 1970, following congressional passage of the Public Broadcasting...

, and CNBC
CNBC
CNBC is a satellite and cable television business news channel in the U.S., owned and operated by NBCUniversal. The network and its international spinoffs cover business headlines and provide live coverage of financial markets. The combined reach of CNBC and its siblings is 390 million viewers...

 and local television affiliates.>

Rasmussen Reports surveys are referred to by those that could be considered U.S. opinion leaders, from media personalities to Congress to the White House. According to The New York Times Magazine
The New York Times Magazine
The New York Times Magazine is a Sunday magazine supplement included with the Sunday edition of The New York Times. It is host to feature articles longer than those typically in the newspaper and has attracted many notable contributors...

, the White House Political Director reported on Rasmussen’s results directly to President Obama's chief of staff Rahm Emanuel. The Washington Post
The Washington Post
The Washington Post is Washington, D.C.'s largest newspaper and its oldest still-existing paper, founded in 1877. Located in the capital of the United States, The Post has a particular emphasis on national politics. D.C., Maryland, and Virginia editions are printed for daily circulation...

 reported that Rasmussen’s polls “set off alarm bells inside the Oval Office, according to a senior administration official, who would not be quoted by name discussing private deliberations within the White House.”

Favorable


FOX News contributors Pat Caddell and Doug Schoen
Douglas Schoen
Douglas Schoen is an American political analyst, pollster, author, and commentator. He is a political analyst for Fox News. He partnered with political strategist Mark Penn and Michael Berland in the firm of Penn, Schoen & Berland...

 (a coauthor of Rasmussen) wrote that Rasmussen has an “unchallenged record for both integrity and accuracy.” The Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal is an American English-language international daily newspaper. It is published in New York City by Dow Jones & Company, a division of News Corporation, along with the Asian and European editions of the Journal....

stated that "Mr. Rasmussen is today's leading insurgent pollster" and "a key player in the contact sport of politics." Slate Magazine
Slate (magazine)
Slate is a US-based English language online current affairs and culture magazine created in 1996 by former New Republic editor Michael Kinsley, initially under the ownership of Microsoft as part of MSN. On 21 December 2004 it was purchased by the Washington Post Company...

and The Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal is an American English-language international daily newspaper. It is published in New York City by Dow Jones & Company, a division of News Corporation, along with the Asian and European editions of the Journal....

reported that Rasmussen Reports was one of the most accurate polling firms for the 2004 United States presidential election
United States presidential election, 2004
The United States presidential election of 2004 was the United States' 55th quadrennial presidential election. It was held on Tuesday, November 2, 2004. Republican Party candidate and incumbent President George W. Bush defeated Democratic Party candidate John Kerry, the then-junior U.S. Senator...

 and 2006 United States general elections
United States general elections, 2006
The 2006 United States midterm elections were held on Tuesday, November 7, 2006. All United States House of Representatives seats and one third of the United States Senate seats were contested in this election, as well as 36 state governorships, many state legislatures, four territorial...

. In 2004 Slate magazine "publicly doubted and privately derided" Rasmussen's use of recorded voices in electoral polls. However, after the election, they concluded that Rasmussen’s polls were among the most accurate in the 2004 presidential election. According to Politico, Rasmussen's 2008 presidential-election polls "closely mirrored the election's outcome".

In the January 2010 special election
United States Senate special election in Massachusetts, 2010
The 2010 United States Senate special election in Massachusetts was a special election held on January 19, 2010, in order to fill the Massachusetts Class I United States Senate seat for the remainder of the term ending January 3, 2013...

 for the Senate seat from Massachusetts, Rasmussen Reports was the first to show Republican Scott Brown
Scott Brown
Scott Brown is a United States senator.Scott Brown may also refer to:-Sportsmen:*Scott Brown , American college football coach of Kentucky State...

 had a chance to defeat Martha Coakley
Martha Coakley
Martha Mary Coakley is the Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Prior to serving as Attorney General, she was District Attorney of Middlesex County, Massachusetts from 1999 to 2007....

. Just after Brown's upset win, Ben Smith
Ben Smith (journalist)
Ben Smith is an American political journalist and blogger for the news outlet Politico, which was frequently cited during the 2008 presidential election. He formerly wrote for the Wall Street Journal Europe, the New York Sun, the New York Observer and wrote a political column for the New York Daily...

 at Politico reported, “The overwhelming conventional wisdom in both parties until a Rasmussen poll showed the race in single digits in early January was that Martha Coakley was a lock. (It's hard to recall a single poll changing the mood of a race quite that dramatically.)". A few days later, Public Policy Polling
Public Policy Polling
Public Policy Polling is an American Democratic Party-affiliated polling firm based in Raleigh, North Carolina. PPP was founded in 2001 by businessman and Democratic pollster Dean Debnam, the firm's current president and chief executive officer...

 released the first poll showing Brown in the lead, a result differing Rasmussen's by 10 points. Rasmussen's second poll on the race found Coakley with a 2-point lead, when she in fact lost by 5 points, a 7-point error.

Nate Silver


In 2010, Nate Silver
Nate Silver
Nathaniel Read "Nate" Silver is an American statistician, psephologist, and writer. Silver first gained public recognition for developing PECOTA, a system for forecasting the performance and career development of Major League Baseball players, which he sold to and then managed for Baseball...

 of the New York Times blog FiveThirtyEight wrote the article “Is Rasmussen Reports biased?”, in which he mostly defended Rasmussen from allegations of bias. However, by later in the year, Rasmussen's polling results diverged notably from other mainstream pollsters, which Silver labeled a "house effect". He went on to explore other factors which may have explained the effect such as the use of a likely voter model, and claimed that Rasmussen conducted its polls in a way that excluded the majority of the population from answering. Silver also criticized Rasmussen for often only polling races months before the election, which prevented them from having polls just before the election that could be assessed for accuracy. He wrote that he was “looking appropriate ways to punish pollsters” like Rasmussen in his pollster rating models who don’t poll in the final days before an election.

After Election night that year, Silver concluded that Rasmussen's polls were the least accurate of the major pollsters in 2010, having an average error of 5.8 points and a pro-Republican bias of 3.9 points according to Silver's model. He singled out as an example the Hawaii Senate Race, in which Rasmussen showed the incumbent
Daniel Inouye
Daniel Ken "Dan" Inouye is the senior United States Senator from Hawaii, a member of the Democratic Party, and the President pro tempore of the United States Senate making him the highest-ranking Asian American politician in American history. Inouye is the chairman of the United States Senate...

 13 points ahead, although in actuality Inouye won by 53
United States Senate election in Hawaii, 2010
The 2010 United States Senate election in Hawaii took place on November 2, 2010 concurrently with elections to the United States Senate in other states as well as elections to the United States House of Representatives and various state and local elections. The primary elections were held on...

 – a difference of 40 points, or "the largest error ever recorded in a general election in FiveThirtyEight’s database, which includes all polls conducted since 1998".

Other


TIME
Time
Time is a part of the measuring system used to sequence events, to compare the durations of events and the intervals between them, and to quantify rates of change such as the motions of objects....

 has described Rasmussen Reports as a "conservative-leaning polling group". According to Charles Franklin, a University of Wisconsin political scientist who co-developed Pollster.com, “He [Rasmussen] polls less favorably for Democrats, and that’s why he’s become a lightning rod." Franklin also said: "It’s clear that his results are typically more Republican than the other person’s results.”

The Center For Public Integrity
Center for Public Integrity
The Center for Public Integrity is a nonprofit organization dedicated to producing original, responsible investigative journalism on issues of public concern. The Center is non-partisan and non-advocacy and committed to transparent and comprehensive reporting both in the United States and around...

 has claimed that Scott Rasmussen was a paid consultant
Political consulting
Political consulting, beyond the self-evident definition of consulting in political matters, refers to a specific management consulting industry which has grown up around advising and assisting political campaigns. This article deals primarily with the development and nature of political consulting...

 for the 2004 George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

 campaign. The Washington Post
The Washington Post
The Washington Post is Washington, D.C.'s largest newspaper and its oldest still-existing paper, founded in 1877. Located in the capital of the United States, The Post has a particular emphasis on national politics. D.C., Maryland, and Virginia editions are printed for daily circulation...

reported "... the Bush reelection campaign used a feature on his site that allowed customers to program their own polls. Rasmussen asserted that he never wrote any of the questions or assisted Republicans in any way..." The do-it-yourself polling service is used by Democrats as well as Republicans today through a company that licenses Rasmussen’s methodology.

Rasmussen has received criticism over the wording in its polls. Asking a polling question with different wording can affect the results of the poll; the commentators in question allege that the questions Rasmussen ask in polls are skewed in order to favor a specific response. For instance, when Rasmussen polled whether Republican voters thought Rush Limbaugh was the leader of their party, the specific question they asked was: "Agree or Disagree: 'Rush Limbaugh is the leader of the Republican Party -- he says jump and they say how high.'"