Ignoring the petitioning candidate who captured nine percent of the vote in other polls, Rasmussen Reports released a poll Sunday showing Republican Tom Foley with a seven-point lead in a two-way race with Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, 50 percent to 43 percent.
The poll is similar to a previous survey Rasmussen released in August. Since then, Foley has been up by six, tied, down by eight and tied in other public surveys. His own internal polls show him with a lead that falls within the margin of error.
In a summary released Sunday, Rasmussen offered no explanation of why it excluded Joe Visconti, the petitioning candidate who has attracted significant support on a $20,000 budget while excluded from televised debates until last week.
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The question posed: “If the election for governor of Connecticut was held today, would you vote for Republican Thomas Foley or Democrat Dan Malloy?”
Two percent still said they preferred some other candidate and four percent were undecided.
Rasmussen’s recent poll is based on an automated telephone survey of 980 likely voters by Pulse Opinion Research. It was conducted Oct. 14 to 16 and has a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.
Because the law bars automated calls to cell phones, Rasmussen also supplements its telephone polling with online surveys. The company also processes its raw data through a weighting program:
“For political surveys, census bureau data provides a starting point and a series of screening questions are used to determine likely voters. The questions involve voting history, interest in the current campaign, and likely voting intentions.
“Rasmussen Reports determines its partisan weighting targets through a dynamic weighting system that takes into account the state’s voting history, national trends, and recent polling in a particular state or geographic area.”
What that weighting produces for a sample size of gender, race and political affiliation was not disclosed. The company releases further demographic information to subscribers who pay $199.95 for an annual subscription.
In 2010 and 2012, Rasmussen’s methodology produced polls that overestimated support for Republicans, according to an analysis by Nate Silver in the blog, FiveThirtyEight.