Scott Rasmussen Responds to 'Slop' Comment From NBC's Chuck Todd
While a guest on the Fox News Channel's "America Live" program on Tuesday, Scott Rasmussen dismissed a comment made last week by NBC's very liberal political director Chuck Todd who called the pollster's work "slop."
Even though Rasmussen said he doesn't know Todd or follow his work and is happy to have the competition, host Megyn Kelly called the NBC correspondent's remark "mean" as she came to the pollster's defense.
During the interview, Rasmussen -- the president of Rasmussen Reports -- stated that his poll has shown that the race between President Barack Obama and his Republican opponent, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, has been close for a long time.
"As other polls shift to likely voter models, they're showing the same thing," he stated: the fact that the numbers have been very stable even though other surveys indicated that Obama was in the lead across the country and in the important "swing states" as well.
"Four years ago, we showed virtually no change in the final 40 days of the campaign," Rasmussen said. "We've shown a steady race this time. Both men have been within three points of each other 89 of the last 100 days."
Again referring to Todd's remark, the pollster added that he'd "be happy to compare our work to anybody's."
When Kelly brought up the "slightly unpleasant" topic, she noted that when Rasmussen was on the program two weeks earlier, "he was one of the lone pollsters showing this is still a tight race."
"Whenever that seems to happen, Scott, they seem to start taking shots at you as somebody who's not reliable, who doesn't have good polls and so on," the host added before stating that "I just want people to know all these polls are showing what you are showing."
We spend a lot of more money polling than Scott Rasmussen does. We spend a lot more money on quality control. ... I hate the idea that [NBC] polling, which is rigorously done, has to get compared to what is, in some cases, you know, slop.
Co-host Joe Kernen challenged Todd's assertion, stating that the pollster "was right, though, the last couple of elections."
The Democratic-campaign-staffer-turned-NBC-personality shot back: "He got it right at the end. It's what happens in the middle sometimes that seems a little bit -- a little bit haywire."
Todd then said his network's poll is better "than somebody that just polls to make news ... these guys are the gold standard."
That statement is far from the truth as Kelly pointed out, summarizing a survey that measured the accuracy of the final pre-election polls conducted during the 2008 presidential race and noted that Rasmussen was rated the best, while NBC News came in 13th place.
She then backtracked a bit, stating that NBC invests a lot of money into their polling, which is often shared with the Wall Street Journal and the Fox News Channel.
"But what he said was mean, Scott," Kelly said.
"I get used to it after a while," Rasmussen replied. "It's part of the life of being a pollster."
As NewBusters previously reported, this isn't the first time Todd has peddled suspicious polling results. Back in June, he referred to a survey that touted health care as "Obama's strongest positive" but didn't mention that it was also the president's highest negative.
Rasmussen has definitely gotten used to attacks from lefties like Todd. In 2010, for instance, he was being continually assailed by liberals including Nate Silver, formerly a blogger on the lunatic left site Daily Kos who now writes for the New York Times. The highly excitable and usually incorrect Markos Moulitsas also slammed him during that season for "setting the narrative that Democrats are doomed." Which, of course, turned out to be the case in 2010.