Rasmussen Reports,Obviously, suggestions and criticism are welcome in comments.
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.
[Cross-posted from Poli-Tea.]