Tuesday, April 13, 2010


To believe or not, Rasmussen on PA's Dem Sen Primary

Is the latest Rasmussen poll for the Democratic Senate Primary in Pennsylvania showing Joe Sestak trailing by only 2% to Arlen Specter an "outlier"? By pretty much any person's definition, it is.

Take a look at the Pollster.com aggregate prior to the Rasmussen poll being added:

Specter leads by over 22%, and the trend lines are pretty flat (indicating a stable race). Do any other recent polls have Sestak even close to Specter?

A Quinnipiac poll released just last week showed Specter up by 21%. Indeed as the table above shows, Rasmussen's last poll also showed a much closer race (11% Specter lead) than other polls taken around that same time (all showing a 20%+ Specter lead).

Now does that mean Rasmussen is wrong? That is not my place to say; however, I would not dismiss Rasmussen out of hand. A little dip into the polling archive reveals that a Quinnipiac poll taken around this time for the 2004 Republican Senate Primary had then Republican Specter leading Pat Toomey by 15%. A Quinnipiac poll taken only two weeks later had Specter up by only 5%. He would go on to win by only 2%. So maybe it will be the other pollsters playing catchup to Rasmussen... Only time will tell.

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