Nate is fixated on Rasmussen. Good for him.

A few posts ago (link), I mentioned the 'house effect' on Rasmussen polls and even linked to Daily Kos' take (link) that its all part of a right-wing conspiracy (For the record, I don't buy it).  Since then there have been several blog posts by Nate Silver at on Rasmussen and why their results are so odd.  Here's part of his latest (link) on the Wisconsin Senate Race:

But if we indeed take this result literally, it is pretty ridiculous. Johnson is good on the stump and has started to generate a lot of buzz among the conservative and tea-party intelligentsia. He has some upside potential -- and may well defeat Feingold in the end. But common sense would dictate the number of Wisconsinites (even "likely voters") who know who Ron Johnson is right now is closer to 6.8 percent than 68.

I've had a lot of criticisms for Rasmussen Reports over the past couple of weeks. Many of the problems their polls exhibit are common to other pollsters throughout the industry, if they seem to be a bit exacerbated in Rasmussen's case.

But the fact is that Rasmussen is the 500-pound gorilla in the room. They drive a lot of traffic and narrative. They account for something like 30 percent of all horse-race polls that have been released thus far this election cycle.

I love that Nate is drilling in on the pollsters and making them accountable for not only their accuracy, but also their methodology.  Polls very often make headlines and can be used to nudge people towards stronger views than they might have had without the headline.  Pollsters may even want to influence our opinions.  So, taking 'em down a notch is very worthwhile.  Their results should be called into question, especially when they don't make sense.  

Go Nate!

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