Rasmussen delivers more the-sky-is-falling-on-Obama spin in the WSJ

Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

Continuing his obsession with documenting how supposedly weak Obama's polling numbers are, the GOP's favorite 'independent' pollster Scott Rasmussen teams up with colleague Douglas Schoen in the WSJ today to (surprise!) try to detail how weak Obama's polling numbers are. And yes, this is the same duo that teamed up in the winter in the pages of the WSJ to...try to detail how weak Obama's polling numbers were. (See a pattern? And did these two ever weigh in as Bush's polling numbers cratered?)

The angle today is that Obama's losing independent voters!! And yes, to prove that point Rasmussen uses the rather lame trick of comparing Obama's current numbers with the ones he enjoyed eight months ago at the time of Inauguration. (See here, for why that is such a transparently lame argument to make. Hint: Obama's numbers in January were artificially high and everybody knew that.)

Meanwhile, the big problem with the column is that much of it is built around Rasmussen's own polling data; data which few people besides GOP partisans take seriously. (Here's a prime example why.) Secondly, Rasmussen, so busy pointing to a blizzard of numbers that supposed illustrate how Obama's presidency is crashing, barely has time to acknowledge that, oh yeah, the president's job approval ratings remains steady and strong, which of course, undercuts the at-times doomsday rhetoric used in the column.

Here's how Rasmussen addresses that issue:

Mr. Obama's approval among likely voters has dropped to the low-50s in most polls, and the most recent Rasmussen Reports poll of likely voters shows him slightly below the 50% mark. This is a relatively low rating for new presidents. Mr. Obama's approval rating began to slide in a serious way in early July, triggered by a bad unemployment report.

Again, you can pretty much throw out the Rasmussen numbers in terms of Obama's job approval since they're trending nearly ten points lower than many other pollsters' data. In truth, Obama at this point in his presidency is just about where Ronald Reagan was eight months into his first term. And yes, Reagan is often pointed to by pundits as being one of the most successful presidents of the last half-century. But Rasmussen ignores that point, and instead claims Obama's job approval ratings are "relatively low."

That's nonsense. Maybe if 'independent' pollster Rasmussen wasn't so obsessed with trying to talk down Obama's poll numbers he'd acknowledge that simple truth.

UPDATED: Since when do serious, 'independent' pollsters write columns urging the president to "shift right"?

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