I received a phone call identifying itself as coming from Rasmussen conducting an automated poll that focused on the California Senate race. First time I’ve received such a call from Rasmussen. (I thank RedState for informing me of their reputation or I might not have participated.)
After general job performance questions on Obama and on Arnold (one each), the poll had three head-to-head votes between Boxer and each of the three Republican candidates, followed by asking attitude towards each of the four individually (very favorable to very unfavorable). The poll also contained the expected demographic questions (political party, self-identification scale from very liberal to very conservative, age, income, ethnicity, sex) and a question as to voting frequency.
(I chose the Republican all three times in the head-to-head, but in the attitudes, Chuck got a very favorable; Carly got a somewhat unfavorable; Tom and Babs got a very unfavorable).
In the middle of the demographic questions, some interesting attitude questions appeared, if I recall correctly – business tax cuts vs. gov’t spending to help the economy, whether the Federal budget can be balanced without tax cuts, whether our elected officials have become a special interest group, whether I thought business and government were often in cahoots [my paraphrase]. The questions apparently were trying to gauge anti-government sentiment without pushing the hot buttons.
The question I struggled the most with, because it was too broad and vague, was whether I favored a “tax cut for all Americans” – to which I found myself reluctantly answering “no” because I don’t assess this as an effective approach: targeting cuts to businesses is what we need to improve our economy. Fortunately they followed that poor question with the question about cutting taxes on business vs. increasing government spending, where the choice was clear.
Overall, with the one exception above, the questions seemed well-designed to try define key voter attitudes that would impact voting and to correlate candidate support with these attitudes. I’m not sure whether my earlier answers affected the later attitude questions that were asked. That is, if (perish the thought!) I had identified myself as a Boxer supporter, I wonder whether the attitude questions would have differed – or whether the lead-ins would have differed.
Quite refreshing to be involved in a poll conducted by a reputable national company, as opposed to phony push polls or just bad design.
It will be interesting to see how the results come up – especially as to the Republican voter attitudes towards the three primary candidates and how DeVore is shaping up at this point in the trail blazed by Demon Sheep.