Over the last few weeks folks have been stampeded in one direction or another based on the latest poll. Some of us have gently pointed out that a number of these polls are highly suspect. When a pollster massages their raw, collected data in such a way that predicts that in the 2008 presidential election 16% of the total electorate will be African-Americans, that poll is useless. Dial that 16% down to a more likely 8 or 9% and the same exact data shows McCain/ Palin winning, and outside the margin of error at that. See, that's how polling 1,008 people and extrapolating it to the entire nation works. The result is wholly dependent on the weighting methodology.
I have no idea who is ahead today in the Obama v. McCain election. Neither do the pollsters or the reporters covering the race-- but they can't admit that. Frankly, these same pollsters will tighten their weighting methods in the final week. They want to be accurate at that crucial point to attract future business. John Zogby is still getting bashed for his "Kerry will win" poll the day before the 2004 election. They can always explain their wildly "off" earlier polls thus: "the race tightened". In the meantime, these polls give the legacy media a hook to hang their latest advocacy "journalism" upon. Good for them.
Having said all of the above I will admit that there is one pollster who I generally believe is pretty accurate: Rasmussen Reports. And what a ding-dong-dilly of a poll they have up today:
59% Would Vote to Replace Entire Congress
Congress was front and center in the national news last week and the American people were far from impressed. If they could vote to keep or replace the entire Congress, 59% of voters would like to throw them all out and start over again. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that just 17% would vote to keep the current legislators in office. Today, just 23% have even a little confidence in the ability of Congress to deal with the nation’s economic problems and only 24% believe most Members of Congress understand legislation before they vote on it.
Only half (49%) believe that the current Congress is better than individuals selected at random from the phone book. Thirty-three percent (33%) believe a randomly selected group of Americans could do a better job and 19% are not sure.
Just 11% of voters say Congress is doing a good or an excellent job.
74% of Republicans would vote to throw out the entire Congress as would 62% of unaffiliated voters. Only 43% of Democrats go along. Still, just 25% of those in Barack Obama’s party would vote to keep the entire Congress even though it’s controlled by Democrats.
However, there is agreement across party lines when it comes to whether or not most Members of Congress understand legislation before they vote on it—25% of Democrats say yes along with 24% of Republicans and 24% of unaffiliated voters.
Well done, Madame Speaker. Well done.