Another awful Rasmussen poll

Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

I included this as part of an earlier blog post update, but I think it deserves a wider look. It's just the latest example of what an awful job Rasmussen does polling the public. And yes, I'm returning to my earlier pledge to not use Rasmussen poll results in the future.

Here's the Rasmussen question/answer that's generation misinformed buzz today:

2* Should the [Ft. Hood] shooting incident be investigated by military authorities as a terrorist act or by civilian authorities as a criminal act?

60% Military authorities as a terrorist act
27% Civilian authorities as a criminal act

13% Not sure

What a mess.

Why is it an either/or question? Why are respondents asked to pick between a "military" terrorist investigation and "civilian" criminal investigation? It makes no sense. First of all, a terrorist investigation, by definition, is a criminal one. Second, it's the FBI (i.e. a "civilian" authority) that has been investigating "terrorists acts" in this country for generations. Civilian authorities launch terrorist investigations all the time, so why does Rasmussen pretend that only "military authorities" do that? Why does Rasmussen suggest that if civilians investigate Ft. Hood, then it won't be a terrorist investigation?

Why did Rasmussen formulate a question that makes no sense?

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