Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Garbage in; garbage out

Ian McDonald catches Rasmussen conducting a ridiculous poll and getting ridiculous results. That would be a poll about the performance of President Obama's cabinet officers. Here are the results for Interior Secretary Ken Salazar:
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 27% view the former Colorado senator unfavorably, including 11% with a Very Unfavorable view of him. But like many of his fellow Cabinet members, Salazar is an unknown commodity to many voters: 57% don't know enough about him to venture any kind of opinion.
Unless my math skills are really rusty, that would mean that 43% of Americans know enough about Ken Salazar to venture an opinion about him. Sorry, but I've got to call bullshit on that one. I'd be impressed if five percent of Americans knew that Ken Salazar was the Interior Secretary. Knowing the identity of lower-tier cabinet officers, no less forming opinions about them, is just not something that the vast majority of Americans preoccupy themselves with.

I have no idea if Salazar is secure in his position or not. But if he's not, it has nothing to do with the masses rising up against him.

(h/t Michael Tofias)


Graham said...

He's a known quantity in Colorado, which is 1.5% or so of the US population. But yes, I agree.

Robert David Sullivan said...

If I had been polled during the Bush administration, I would have been tempted to say "very unfavorable" to the name of any federal official they threw at me, whether I had heard of him or not. That may be what's going on here, which doesn't make the results any less ridiculous.

Andrew Oh-Willeke said...

So, about 38% of surveyed voters lie to pollsters and give them the answers that they think sounds good instead.

This sounds plausible, as it is a pretty good fit to the well documented rate of survey respondent inaccuracy in church attendance polls.

It would be interesting if Rasmussen has put in some red herring questions like "Do you approve of Ken Salazar's handling of the U.S. Forest Service?" to see what people would say.