Another awful Rasmussen poll

Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

And surprise! It's good news for conservatives. (How does Rasmussen do it?)

Headline:

Most Say Tea Party Has Better Understanding of Issues than Congress

Lede:

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 52% of U.S. voters believe the average member of the Tea Party movement has a better understanding of the issues facing America today than the average member of Congress. Only 30% believe that those in Congress have a better understanding of the key issues facing the nation.

Right-wing bloggers are treating this as a very big deal because, OMG, Americans think Tea Party members are more in tune with the issues of the day than members of Congress. i.e. They like us. They really like us!

But here's why the poll is relatively pointless: There's no context. Meaning, everyone knows that Congress is suffering from historically low approval ratings right now. So is it really that big a deal that, according to Rasmussen and his touch tone, GOP-friendly robo-polls, Tea Party members are viewed as having a better understanding than Congressmen?

In other words, who isn't viewed that way today, and why didn't Rasmussen poll about other groups to provide context? Why didn't Rasmussen also ask if the "average member of a labor union has better understanding of the issues facing America today than" members of Congress"? Or the "average school teacher"? Or the "average Democratic voter"?

You see the point? Rasmussen provides no contrast and no context. And yes, my hunch is that was done on purpose to make the Tea Party look good.

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