There’s a new poll out this week that contains good news and bad news for Oregon Republicans.
The good news: The poll shows their candidate, Chris Dudley, leading Democrat John Kitzhaber by a one-point margin.
The bad news: It’s a Rasmussen poll.
The telephone survey of 500 “likely voters” found 45% favoring Dudley, 44% favoring former governor Kitzhaber, 4% favoring somebody else and 6% undecided.
“Dudley, a former professional basketball player who now works in the financial industry, captured 40% of the vote last Tuesday to win a crowded GOP Primary,” Rasmussen says. Whether it’s accurate to call it a “crowded GOP primary” is debatable; there were a bunch of candidates on the ballot, but only two of them – Dudley and Allen Alley – were serious contenders.
The trouble with putting much stock in a Rasmussen poll is that Rasmussen consistently gives Republican candidates significantly higher numbers than virtually any other polling outfit.
The Daily Kos commented on this phenomenon the other day, claiming that Rasmussen “cares only about setting the narrative that Democrats are doomed” and backing it up with a chart that shows Rasmussen is consistently an outlier among pollsters, typically favoring Republicans by about 5% to 10%.
Even “Rupert in Springfield,” a frequent and solidly Republican commenter on the conservative Daily Catalyst blog, couldn’t get enthusiastic about the poll: “I hate to say it but if you are only up one point in Rasmussen, you are dead as a Republican. I will be stunned, and I mean absolutely stunned, if Kitzhaber doesn't win by five points or better.”