Analyzing the latest Rasmussen poll showing Scott & Crist deadlocked at 47% — Almost a full shaker!

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The latest Rasmussen poll — showing Rick Scott and Charlie Crist deadlocked at 47 percent each — was begun on the first night of #FanGate and continued for the next two nights.

Did the debate impact the outcome of this poll? It’s hard to tell. On one hand, the shock of seeing the empty stage could have a profound impact on voters, but often the water cooler conversations have a longer lasting impression and this poll was taken during both of these phases.  t would have been neat to see the breakdown for each day, but that information was not available.

In rating this poll, we have to give it a few grains because it was a blended sample (a robo-poll with some Internet respondents thrown in), with no cell phones, and the survey did not include either Wyllie or the other two NPA candidates. Also, the methodology statement says the following about party balance:

Rasmussen Reports determines its partisan weighting targets through a dynamic weighting system that takes into account the state’s voting history, national trends, and recent polling in a particular state or geographic area.

The full details show that this poll had an equal number of Democrats and Republicans and a too-large number of NPA voters at 26 percent.  So by “taking into account the state’s voting history,” we must assume they used a 2012 model. We project and most pollsters seem to agree, that this year we will see something akin to an approximate +3 GOP turnout (and nothing in the absentee numbers already reported suggest that will get any lower) meaning this product from Rasmussen is probably a bit too Democratic leaning.  (Whodathunk?)

Finally, instead of accessing voter records, the pollsters determined that “likelihood of voting” is self-described and that is not a terribly reliable means of determining probability of voting. The best method is to use the actual voter file and the voter’s actual voter history and then confirming the voter’s intention on the call.


This poll likely favors Crist a bit and we rate it somewhere between a few grains and a full shaker.

What is the SPB Salt Shaker Scale? It’s our new measurement guide to reading polls. These are the ratings:

  • A full shaker: There are enough problems with the methodology to warrant serious concerns.
  • A few grains: There are some concerns with how this poll was conducted and/or with the Demographic make-up to raise some issues.
  • A single grain: There are only a few concerns with how the poll was conducted.
  • No salt needed: Solid pollster, solid methodology and the numbers look balanced.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.