Beware Of Pollsters Bearing Gifts

Conservatives are touting a resent Rasmussen Reports poll apparently showing public support for the stimulus package dropping.

Recently, though, I pointed out that Rasmussen’s polls–as compared to other polls on this issue–have consistently shown public support for the job creation bill to be lower than average; at the time, I raised the question of whether Rasmussen’s polls are outliers.  Right now it seems like that are, at least until another credible polling agency corroborates their results.

It’s worth noting that Scott Rasmussen, founder of Rasmussen Reports, is a Republican pollster–he was paid $45,000 to do polling for the Bush-Cheney ’04 campaign and was paid $95,500 by the Republican National Committee in that same year.

That’s not to say that none of Rasmussen’s polls are reliable, just that they need to be taken with a grain of salt, especially when they happen to corroborate the Republican position on an issue. I wouldn’t discount Rasmussen polls entirely, but I won’t take their results as gospel until more polling comes out showing the same so-called trend.

So beware of pollsters bearing gifts, because sometimes what they bring really is too good to be true.