NBC's Chuck Todd Slams Rasmussen Poll as 'Slop'

Appearing on CNBC's Squawk Box on Wednesday, NBC News political director Chuck Todd launched into a rant attacking Rasmussen Reports polling: "We spend a lot 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." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Co-host Joe Kernen challenged Todd: "[Rasmussen] was right, though, the last couple of elections." Todd shot back: "He got right at the end. It's what happens in the middle sometimes that seems a little bit – a little bit haywire."

Todd snobbishly looked down on other polling, as he explained:

...the two people that we have conduct NBC/Wall Street Journal, they poll for politicians, and why does that matter? Because they're not polled to – they're polled to get it right. If they're not, they don't get clients. So I'll take – I'll take that more than somebody that just polls to just make news....these guys are the gold standard.

Co-host Andrew Ross Sorkin wondered: "Do you think these other polls are biased? Take our poll out of it." Todd replied: "Biased is not the right word....I think there's financial constraints....It costs a lot of money to call cell phones, for instance. Rasmussen doesn't do any cell phones."

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Back in June, Todd had trouble reporting NBC's "gold standard" of polling accurately to viewers.


Here is a transcript of the October 3 exchange:

8:35AM ET

(...)

JOE KERNEN: It's weird though, we're talking three, we're talking two, we're talking one. And you got – this is the NBC poll, but then you've got Rasmussen and Gallup. I mean it's hard to – we – and I was talking about that with [John] Harwood earlier, it's so hard to, you know – but it's all we got, so you might as well use it once you have it.

CHUCK TODD: Well, I mean, look, obviously yeah, I spend a lot – we spend a lot more money polling than Scott Rasmussen does. We spend a lot more money on quality control.

KERNEN: He was right, though, the last couple of elections. He was – he was very-

TODD: He got right at the end.

KERNEN: Yeah.

TODD: It's what happens in the middle sometimes that seems a little bit – a little bit haywire. All my point is on this is I – we have, the two people that we have conduct NBC/Wall Street Journal, they poll for politicians, and why does that matter? Because they're not polled to – they're polled to get it right. If they're not, they don't get clients. So I'll take – I'll take that more than somebody that just polls to just make news.

KERNEN: But whenever you got – but you have 200 million people and you've got polls that are under 2,000 people.

TODD: No doubt.

KERNEN: And it's just – and I know we have statistical analysis and we talk about, you know, margins of error and everything, but I mean it's just-

TODD: I hear you. I just get – I defend – I mean I could tell you how much – we spend a lot of money. And look, you guys use the same pollsters we do, the CNBC poll. You guys know these guys are the gold standard. We spend so much money. So it is – I hate the idea that their polling...

ANDREW ROSS SORKIN: Do you think that other-

TODD: ...which is rigorously done, has to get compared to what is, in some cases, you know, slop.

SORKIN: Do you think these other polls are biased? Take our poll out of it.

TODD: Do I think some polls – biased is not the right word. Do I think some people don't – aren't accounting for every possible statistical anomaly you need or account for now?

SORKIN: But do you think they're not purposely accounting for every statistical, is the question?

TODD: I think there's financial constraints.

SORKIN: Okay.

TODD: That is the issue. It costs a lot of money to call cell phones, for instance. Rasmussen doesn't do any cell phones.

(...)

 

 

 

 

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC