Mar 18, 2010

A Poli-Tea Action Alert? Shining a Light on the Media Blackout

In a recent post at Poli-Tea on duopolist bias and third party media strategy, I suggested pressuring polling organizations to explicitly include third party and independent candidates in their public opinion surveys for specific elections. As a follow-up to this, I have drafted a short letter, which I just emailed to Rasmussen, urging them to do precisely that. The reason why I chose to begin with Rasmussen should be clear from the letter itself. Obviously, one email does not carry very much weight, which is why I am also asking you to join me in this effort. Please feel free to copy and paste or even re-work the following, and send it on to Rasmussen Reports at, or even call them at 732-776-9777.
Rasmussen Reports,
I am writing to urge you to include third party and independent candidates for office in your regular surveys of public opinion for the 2010 elections. In a number of recent polls, you have included a third party "Tea Party" for consideration on the "generic ballot", revealing significant support within the US electorate for this third party or independent option. Currently, however, the "Tea Party" is registered as an actual third party in only two states; yet there are ballot qualified third party and independent candidates for office at all levels of government in almost all 50 states. With few exceptions (ex. Chafee in RI and Cahill in MA), Rasmussen typically gauges support for these candidates by asking respondents if they support Republican X, Democrat Y or "some other candidate," as for instance in your recent survey covering the gubernatorial race in Illinois. This, however, fails to assess support for any specific alternative to the major party candidates. One wonders what level of support Democrats and Republicans would garner in a given race if you asked respondents to choose between Independent X, Libertarian Y, Green Z or "some other candidate." Rasmussen Reports often quotes Scott Rasmussen himself saying that Americans are "united in the belief that our political system is broken, that politicians are corrupt, and that neither major political party has the answers." I agree with this assessment and therefore urge you to begin actively gauging support for specific, ballot qualified, third party and independent candidates for office in your polling nationwide.
Obviously, suggestions and criticism are welcome in comments.
[Cross-posted from Poli-Tea.]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

States with ballot-qualified parties, other than Dem & Rep, statewide, right now, are Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia (for statewide office only), Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming. That's 37 states, about three-fourths of the states. North Dakota should be on that list pretty soon if the Libertarian Party petition succeeds, and then possibly the Libertarians will do Nebraska also and that state will go on the list. If the Green Party gets on in Arkansas, that state will be added.