Yes, Ken Buck is Ahead, DSCC Poll Isn’t Equivalent to Rasmussen (Not Close)

The Denver Post‘s Michael Booth is to be commended for his efforts: He’s working really hard to bolster the flagging campaign of appointed junior U.S. Senator Michael Bennet. Maybe it’s some sort of “Michael B” bond. Who knows? Though artificially inflating Bennet’s hopes in the end isn’t a terribly kind thing to do.

Seriously, a new Rasmussen survey comes out today showing Ken Buck breaking the 50 percent mark at 51-43, confirming a trend of independent polls that have the Republican challenger beating Bennet outside the margin of error. Yet Booth leads with a Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) poll showing Bennet with a statistically insignificant lead of 48-46.

The artificial effort of trying to balance the results from a respected, transparent, independent pollster with top-line results touted by a DSCC-commissioned survey is laughable. After noting that “Democrats frequently dispute [Rasmussen] because of alleged sampling bias,” Booth notes:

It may go without saying, but before you hit the comments button, realize that we do understand anything from the Democratic Senatorial committee may come with its own set of biases.

Cute. “May come with its own set of biases.” You think? Even take away the fact that one poll was independent and the other controlled and spun by Democrats, and any equivalence between the two would require an important caveat — namely, that Rasmussen has a far more accurate track record than Greenberg Quinlan Rosner (GQR), which did the poll for DSCC.

A few months ago liberal poll data uber-geek Nate Silver quantified the accuracy of political pollsters over the past 10 years. Of the 63 polling firms with 10 or more polls to analyze, Rasmussen rated as 15th most accurate and GHQ rated as 53rd. If all 261 firms are included, Rasmussen ranks 20th and GQR 193rd.

If Booth wants to argue the two polls are equivalent, he’s entitled to do so. But then his judgment could be called into question, as well as the Post for assigning him to cover the race. Or maybe I’m being too harsh: This kind of coverage might be physician-prescribed to help ensure Bennet campaign staffers, Lefty bloggers and liberal journalists get a good night’s sleep.

Cheaper than Lunesta. And the only side effect is delusion.

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