Why is Rasmussen Skewing Pawlenty's Numbers?

I was reading through the first two questions of the most recent Rasmussen Reports poll of Minnesota voters, and something stood out to me. Take a look:

* How would you rate the job Tim Pawlenty has been doing as Governor... do you strongly approve, somewhat approve, somewhat disapprove, or strongly disapprove of the job she's been doing?

26% Strongly approve
30% Somewhat approve
13% Somewhat disapprove
30% Strongly disapprove
1% Not sure

2* How would you rate the way that Al Franken is performing his role as Senator....excellent good fair or poor?

19% Excellent
22% Good
23% Fair
31% Poor
6% Not sure

Notice a difference between the two questions? How Rasmussen uses an equally weighted question to gauge the approval rating of Republican Tim Pawlenty but an unevenly weighted question that, as I have written before, lumps the ambivalent response of "fair" into the disapproval column to gauge the approval rating of Democrat Al Franken (as it also does subsequently in the poll for Democrat Amy Klobuchar).

As Pollster.com has detailed in the past, the numbers on this differently weighted question lump in some voters approving of a particular politician into the disapproval camp. As the folks at Pollster.com explain regarding the case of former Chicago Mayor Jane Byrne, "Not only was her approval score higher than excellent-good combined, but some of the 'fair' raters also said 'approve' when asked. Moreover, when asked reasons for rating Byrne the way they did, we got answers like 'doing a pretty fair job' from those rating her both 'fair' and 'approve'."

So why is Rasmussen using two different metrics -- one, which tends to find higher approval ratings, for the Republican; another, which tends to find lower approval ratings, for the Democrat?

Update [2009-9-22 23:59:28 by Jonathan Singer]: Another good point from MyDD reader Palli -- in Rasmussen's eyes Pawlenty is "doing" a job while Franken is "performing" a "role".

Tags: Rasmussen Reports, Tim Pawlenty (all tags)

Comments

8 Comments

Re: Why is Rasmussen Boosting Pawlenty's Numbers?

Because Rassmussen is a biased pollster and Pawlenty is the only R who's both conservative enough to get through the primaries and reputedly-sane enough to have a shot in the general.

by Endymion 2009-09-22 10:08AM | 0 recs
I know! I know! (waving hand in air)

I don't know about some of their past polling but everything I see coming out of Rasmussen this year seems designed for Village reporting convenience, almost everything just seems to come out three or four points more negative for the Dem in question than comparable polls.

It never seems to sink right to the level of straight out push-polling, it is just a thumb on the scale thing.

by Bruce Webb 2009-09-22 10:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Why is Rasmussen Skewing Pawlenty's Numbers?

Could it be because Rasmussen is a GOP hack?

by LionelEHutz 2009-09-22 10:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Why is Rasmussen Skewing Pawlenty's Numbers?

GOP shilling.  They have elevated the split methodology to make GOPers look better and Dems worse to an artform.  Their polls are essentially worthless now.

by devilrays 2009-09-22 12:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Why is Rasmussen Skewing Pawlenty's Numbers?

Goop hack.

by lojasmo 2009-09-22 01:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Why is Rasmussen Skewing Pawlenty's Numbers?

Can I have the first question at his press conference when he announces?

"Governor, since you've expressed sympathy for the Tenthers, the movement to secede from the United States, how many states could we expect to lose during your first term as President? And what would be your response if any of those states which seceded re-authorized slavery anywhere in North America?

by Subroutine 2009-09-22 03:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Why is Rasmussen Skewing Pawlenty's Numbers?
Another Rasmussen deliberate difference of wording "
Pawlenty "is doing"  Franken "is preforming"
by Palli 2009-09-22 06:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Why is Rasmussen Skewing Pawlenty's Numbers?

They also apparently are referring to Pawlenty as a 'she'.  Bang up job by Scott and his fine, conservative pollsters.

by Jess81 2009-09-22 09:56PM | 0 recs

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