Another awful Rasmussen poll, cont'd

Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

Sometimes I think folks at Rasmussen sit around and brainstorm ways to concoct utterly pointless poll questions and then manufacture convoluted ways to misinterpret the results. The latest re: global warming is just the another example of why lots of serious news people just don't take Rasmussen, and its never-ending supply of GOP-friendly polling results, seriously.

Headline from Rasmussen:

Americans Skeptical of Science Behind Global Warming

It's an interesting headline considering there's nothing from its own polling results to back up that claim. I'm not exaggerating. There is literally nothing in this poll that suggest "Americans" are skeptical about global warming science (i.e. they're skeptical about what causes global warming), especially since a plurality of respondents told Rasmussen global warming remains a very serous problem. Even worse, Rasmussen never asked Americans if they were "skeptical of the science behind global warming."

No joke. The Rasmussen headline makes the loud claim that Americans don't believe the science behind global worming. But uh-oh, Rasmussen never asked Americans about the science behind global warming. (Instead, the polling firm asked a vague question about what scientist do with their research.)

The Rasmussen lede:

Most Americans (52%) believe that there continues to be significant disagreement within the scientific community over global warming.

This just seems dumb. If Rasmussen wanted to know if American think lots of scientists, y'know, don't believe in global warming, than why didn't they just ask that question. But as is Rasmussen tradition, they asked a question in what seemed to be a purposefully vague manner in order to attract as many respondents as possible. i.e. Well, yeah there's probably disagreement among scientists. But that doesn't mean lots of them deny global warming is real.

Trying to tie the scientist question to current events, Rasmussen stressed this:

But just in the last few days, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs seemed to reject any such disagreement in a response to a question about global warming, "I don't think … [global warming] is quite, frankly, among most people, in dispute anymore."

But note that Gibbs wasn't talking about global warming being in dispute among scientists, he was referring to "most people." And again, according to Rasmussen's own polling, most respondents agreed that global warming is a very serious problem, which backs up Gibbs' suggestion.

Even more dumbness:

Even as Obama and senior members of Congress are pushing major anti-global warming initiatives, Americans overwhelmingly believe they should focus on the economy instead. Seventy-one percent (71%) say the bigger priority for U.S. national leaders is stimulating the economy to create jobs. Only 15% say they should focus instead on stopping global warming to save the environment.

Right, because exactly which "senior members of Congress" have announced that stopping global warming takes precedence over creating new jobs in the U.S.? That stopping global warming should be the focus "instead" of creating new jobs? Oh yeah, nobody. But yep, Rasmussen did a poll about it.

UPDATED: The percentage of American who, according to Rasmussen's own polls, think global warming is a very serious problem hasn't budged--and has not decreased--in the last 20 months. But Rasmussen ignores that fact and instead manufactured a phony, sweeping claim that Americans are skeptical about the science behind global warming, and based that conclusion on a question Rasmussen never even asked.

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