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  Politics and Elections
Thursday, September 2, 2010
The pack moves toward Rasmussen
Back in the spring as I began posting polls and officially tracking races from early primary states, I received several emails warning me - to put it nicely - not to use Rasmussen's polls in my calculations.  They claimed the polling firm was a Republican agent trying to manipulate its results to fuel the growing red wave.  I believed the opposite, and I stated that in a June 14 post on this blog.  During that early summer period, I reasoned, Rasmussen was the practically the only firm out there trying to gauge who would vote.  While others were polling registered voters, Ras used a likely voter model.  This process increased the likelihood of coming up with an accurate pulse of the electorate.

In the post, I said

As other polling firms begin to model likely voters in their election tests, they will, in fact, to move toward Rasmussen.
Well, guess what?  That's exactly what we're seeing.  Nathan Gonzales writes on Stuart Rothenberg's blog that Rasmussen results are still showing glowing numbers for Republicans - and other polling firms are starting to offer the same kind of rosy results as well.
An Aug. 16 Rasmussen survey in the highly competitive Senate race in Pennsylvania showed former Rep. Pat Toomey (R) ahead of Rep. Joe Sestak (D) by 8 points, 48 percent to 40 percent.  A poll taken during the same time (Aug. 14-16) by Democratic firm Public Policy Polling showed Toomey with a 9-point advantage, 45 percent to 36 percent.

In June, Rasmussen had Toomey ahead of Sestak by 6 points, while PPP had the race tied.

Rasmussen and PPP also showed identical results in the Keystone State�s race for governor. Former Attorney General Tom Corbett (R) led Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato (D) by 11 points in a recent Rasmussen survey and by 13 points according to PPP.

Here's confirmation of exactly what I said would happen back in June, coming from the Democratic leaning pollster itself.
"When we switched to likely voters we saw a very steep decline in Democrats' interest in voting in the fall," PPP's Tom Jensen said.  Previously, the firm polled individuals who had voted in one of the last three general elections instead of screening for likely voters.
This means two things.  First, the pack is indeed moving toward Rasmussen - not vice-versa - and the other pollsters are seeing as large a red wave coming as Rasmussen does when likely voters are measured.

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