One of the worst-performing national pollsters in the 2018 election cycle was Rasmussen Reports, a right-leaning outfit that is consistently the only one to show President Donald Trump with a net positive approval rating. In 2018, Rasmussen showed Republicans leading the generic congressional ballot by 1 point — but Democrats won the popular vote by 8.4 points.
Nonetheless, Rasmussen is proud of its methodology and particularly irritated when polling analyst and FiveThirtyEight founder Nate Silver points out their inaccuracy. Over the past two weeks, they have twice accused him of "fraud" and characterized his analyses as "corrupt."
Silver's alleged offense? The fact that he characterized their poll as a "popular vote for US House" when the specific question they asked voters was their preference "if the elections for Congress were held today."
@rolotomasi777 @NateSilver538 I wouldn't pay much attention to him, Michael. https://t.co/u0dVuHdEOj— Rasmussen Reports (@Rasmussen Reports)1571255345.0
On Wednesday, Silver hit back at their "pathetic" attack, pointing out that it is common for pollsters to use those terms interchangeably. He also noted that including Senate results would make Rasmussen's poll even less accurate, because Democrats won the popular vote for the Senate more than the popular vote for the House.
But if you want to be *extremely* literal about it & count up all votes for *Congress*, your poll was even worse! D… https://t.co/ugxdJj3VpX— Nate Silver (@Nate Silver)1571256020.0
Rasmussen promptly hit back, doubling down and calling Silver a "pathetic fraudster," which resulted in a back-and-forth in which Silver smacked down each of their talking points:
@NateSilver538 LOL, pathetic fraudster. Go find one in the 2018 GB finals. "the House," "your Congressional distr… https://t.co/HhiUAsszYO— Rasmussen Reports (@Rasmussen Reports)1571256574.0
@Rasmussen_Poll LOL bro, look at the link in my tweet. The vast majority of pollsters refer to "Congress", not the… https://t.co/4rRtyCvzT2— Nate Silver (@Nate Silver)1571257029.0
@NateSilver538 They actually DON'T "bro." That's why you changed our actual wording, right? Where are the 1500-2500… https://t.co/pkc81YKzCr— Rasmussen Reports (@Rasmussen Reports)1571257972.0
@Rasmussen_Poll Wait, so you're pointing to the RCP average that *also* counted your poll (the one that showed Repu… https://t.co/SNusKCwPtj— Nate Silver (@Nate Silver)1571259145.0