Rasmussen Polls: governor race a dead heat (after correcting for the ‘house effect,’ DuVal is leading)


Rasmussen Reports is out with a new poll today Arizona Governor – Rasmussen Reports™:

Chalkboard with Math ProblemArizona Governor: Ducey (R) 40%, DuVal (D) 40%

The race to be Arizona’s next governor is a dead heat.

Arizona is rated a Toss-Up on the Rasmussen Reports 2014 Gubernatorial Scorecard. The race will determine the successor to Republican Jan Brewer who is term-limited. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Dicey Ducey  has reason to be worried. After correcting for the Rasmussen “house effect,” a dead heat means that Dicey Ducey is actually trailing Democrat Fred DuVal, based upon the historical performance of Rasmussen Reports polls over the years.

I have explained to readers  over the years with links to numbers guru Nate Silver, formerly at fivethirtyeight.com, why the Rasmussen Reports poll has a “house effect” GOP bias, and is effectively a GOP “narrative” poll.

Here is Nate Silver during the 2010 midterm election. House Effects Render Poll-Reading Difficult | FiveThirtyEight:

Here, in fact, is a demonstration of the house effect that my model is identifying for each of the five most prolific pollsters so far this year — those that have produced at least 15 separate surveys for head-to-head Senate race matchups. (Our methodology for calculating these is described here.)


Rasmussen, thus far, has a Republican-leaning house effect of about 5 and 1/2 points. So if Rasmussen, for example, has a Republican leading by 7 points in a particular race, an average pollster would have the Republican ahead by only 1 or 2 points.

Here the Rasmussen GOP “narrative” is that Dicey Ducey is tied, which is supposed to be good news for him that he is not trailing. Rasmussen could not show Dicey Ducey leading this race even after padding his numbers. A tie is the best they could do.

This means Democrat Fed Duval must be leading.

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AZ BlueMeanie
The Blue Meanie is an Arizona citizen who wishes, for professional reasons, to remain anonymous when blogging about politics. Armed with a deep knowledge of the law, politics and public policy, as well as pen filled with all the colors stolen from Pepperland, the Blue Meanie’s mission is to pursue and prosecute the hypocrites, liars, and fools of politics and the media – which, in practical terms, is nearly all of them. Don’t even try to unmask him or he’ll seal you in a music-proof bubble and rendition you to Pepperland for a good face-stomping. Read blog posts by the infamous and prolific AZ Blue Meanie here.


  1. Can someone explain what the pressing reason is for arizona latinos to go out and vote for fred duval? If you can find one fred duval might win! Stop wasting time trying to get arizona republicans who hate Obama because he is black to vote for duval and convince latino democrats to come out and register to vote and vote instead!

    • I see that even you realize that Latinos/Latinas have no real reason to vote this election cycle. You Democrats will have to generate a false crisis to make that happen.

      And for the record, most Republicans do not hate Obama because he is black. We hate his policies, his usurpation of powers, his lack of foreign policy, his lack of leadership, the blatant racism of his Attorney General, et. al. I would love to have had our first black president to have been a leader whose legacy would serve as a beacon to all Americans. Instead, we got Obama. An opportunity lost…

      • PERHAPS you could get some mileage out of that, but it seems to me that most Latinos/Latinas have expended a lot of their energy against Arpaio already. But it is still worth a try…

  2. ”Rasmussen’s polls have a slight, Republican-leaning house effect. But it’s small — less than one percentage point (Franklin finds a larger effect, but he’s not looking at their state numbers, where the effect has been less pronounced).”

    This is a quote from your source. In order to get your 5.5% house effect you had to single out the Senate elections. But this isn’t a Senate election and that 5.5% figure doesn’t really apply. Is it your imagination and wishful thinking get ahead of yourself again?

    ”Rasmussen, for instance, is one of the few pollsters to already be employing a likely voter model at this point. It’s not uncommon for likely voter polls to have comparatively better results for Republicans, since Democrats rely on votes from groups like young voters and minorities who turn out less reliably in midterm elections.”

    This is another quote from your source. Rasmussen polls from groups who are likely to vote, while Democrat pollsters tend to poll groups that are unreliable about voting. Don’t you ever get embarrassed at cherry picking your data and information?

    ”This means Democrat Fed Duval must be leading.”

    Translation: “Oh, please, please, please, let this be true!!!”

    • Did I say the House effect was 5.5%? No. I used an example from the last midterm election because far less polling is done in midterms than during a presidential election year. The Senate race example is irrelevant to the larger point that Rasmussen has a well documented and well deserved reputation for a GOP house effect and for being a GOP narrative poll. As someone who is a political scientist, as well as a lawyer, I have studied polling extensively for almost 35 years. I have the knowledge and experience to identify what is a meaningful poll, what is a narrative poll, and the flaws in the polling data. I seriously doubt you can claim the same.

      • Thank you for taking the time to explain it a little more thoroughly. I agree that you probably have more experience in these matters than I. The fact is that Fred Duval seems like a decent guy and I wouldn’t mind him being the Governor for the next term or two. As to whether or not I vote for him, well that remains to be seen.

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