Memo: Rasmussen understating Robitaille’s chancesOctober 27th, 2010 at 1:19 pm by Ted Nesi under General Talk
John Robitaille’s outside advisers think Rasmussen’s Friday poll understated how much support the Republican candidate for governor is likely to get when voters go to the polls on Tuesday, according to an internal campaign memo obtained by WPRI.com.
Rasmussen’s survey, made up of 750 likely voters, had Chafee at 35%, Caprio at 28% and Robitaille at 25%.
But the survey sample was made up of 55% Democrats, 32% independents and 13% Republicans, making it “heavily weighted towards Democrats,” Profile Strategy Group, Robitaille’s New Hampshire-based consulting firm, argued in the memo.
The consultants said that if the poll had been weighted to reflect Rhode Island’s actual voter registration numbers, it would have shown Chafee at 33%, Robitaille at 28% and Caprio in third place at 25%. The strategists also pointed out that national surveys show Republicans and independents more enthusiastic than Democrats about casting ballots next week, which could also tilt the electorate in Robitaille’s favor.
It’s a somewhat surprising argument, since Rasmussen’s polls are frequently described as being friendly to Republicans, but certainly interesting. As I discussed when our last WPRI poll by Fleming & Associates came out, conducting accurate surveys is an art as much as a science, so there’s always room for debate once they get released.
The memo also pointed out that Rasmussen’s poll showed Robitaille winning independents and put his unfavorable rating at 40%, lower than Chafee’s 50% and Caprio’s 48%, whereas all three have nearly identical favorable ratings (49% for Caprio and Robitaille, and 48% for Chafee).
Bottom line? Profile Strategy Group thinks a higher-than-usual turnout among Republicans and independents would put Robitaille “within the margin of error of Chafee.” They counseled him to emphasize his message of bringing back jobs and countering the Democratic-dominated General Assembly to position him as the anti-Chafee choice.
All this should just whet our appetites for tomorrow evening, when WPRI will release the results from our final poll of the campaign. I’ll have full coverage right here on WPRI.com starting at 6 p.m.