Rasmussen Pretends Joe Kennedy Does Not Exist

A new Rasmussen survey of public opinion in Massachusetts ahead of the January 19th special election for US Senate fails to include any mention of independent libertarian candidate Joe Kennedy, who qualified for ballot access late last year.  Instead the organization prompts likely voters to choose between Democrat Martha Coakley, Republican Scott Brown and “some other candidate.”

A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely voters in the state finds Coakley ahead of Brown 50% to 41%. One percent (1%) prefer some other candidate, and seven percent (7%) are undecided.

34 thoughts on “Rasmussen Pretends Joe Kennedy Does Not Exist

  1. d.eris

    And yet I am inclined to maintain that media organizations have a responsibility to do something other than simply reproduce the prejudices of certain demographics.

  2. Ben

    It doesn’t say that voters were given a choice of “some other candidate”. It sounds more like voters responded that way unprompted.

    It’s kind of dumb to have a poll that doesn’t reproduce the ballot, especially when the name you’re omitting is “joe kennedy”.

  3. Jake

    I think Joe Kennedy will do between 2-3%. I believe that the name Kennedy will trick, or confuse, some people. But I don’t believe he has raised enough money to really gain that last 2 week push.

    Unlike Daggett, Kennedy has not been included on many of the polls, but the MA media is much cheaper than NY/PA. I would say that Kennedy should run again and then that would be a competitive race… or at least much closer.

  4. d.eris

    Ben, I’ve looked into that question before with Rasmussen polls and have found in the past that respondents are actually prompted with the choices “Democrat X”, “Republican Y” and “some other candidate.” This seems to be the case here too judging from the “survey questions and toplines” page.

  5. Aroundtheblockafewtimes

    A wag I know says that the LP could achieve far better vote totals by simply having every candidate change his name to Mickey or Minnie Mouse.

    This is a classic Catch 22 situation. In a typical poll, the LP candidate’s name would not even be known because there would have been little or no free or paid publicity. Because Rasmussen isn’t fooled by a candidate named Joe Kennedy, he isn’t going to help perpetrate a fraud on the public just so we can brag that, say, 10% of Mass. voters want a Libertarian .Perhaps the LP should pay for its own independent poll and publicize results if we think exclusion from polls drives away substantial numbers of voters.

  6. Ross Levin

    I read a really funny blog post from last year about whether it made sense to include Ralph Nader or Bob Barr in polls, from a person who conducts polls. They were asking it like for some reason the poll shouldn’t just reflect the general election ballot. I guess they like the power trip of deciding who we’re allowed to vote for…

  7. George Phillies


    There haven’t been ‘many polls’ of the general election. In fact, Rasmussen is more or less it. Bob Underwood got 3.1% in 2008 against Kerry and Ogonowski.

  8. Darcy G Richardson

    Sometimes you have to create your own news, even if it takes a little tongue-in-cheek humor.

    During the 1968 Republican primary in Wisconsin, perennial presidential candidate Harold E. Stassen released the results of an internal poll showing that he was favored by 57% of those surveyed. The former Minnesota governor, who had only garnered 429 votes in the first-in-the-nation New Hampshire primary a few weeks earlier, was a decided underdog against GOP frontrunner Richard Nixon in the state’s April 2 primary.

    When pressed by skeptical reporters, Stassen, who was running for President for the fifth time and desperate for media attention, admitted that the poll had been conducted at one of his own campaign rallies. In other words, 43 percent of his own supporters weren’t even sure they were going to vote for him. The normally-jaded Wisconsin press corps found the story so funny that it was carried in most of the state’s newspapers the following day.

    Humor can go a long way…

  9. Joanne

    As someone who has been very interested in the Libertarian party, I still cannot reconcile the fact that voting for Libertarian or Independent candidates inevitably gets the Democrat elected.

    This has happened time and again, and I’m very afraid that Libertarians and Independents will not join together to support the candidate (usually a Republican) who more closely represents L/I ideals.

    Especially with the socialist onslaught being inflicted by the Democrats in congress, at what point will Libertarians support the Republican candidate in 2010 and beyond?

    Please view my statements and question as honest – I am not here to criticize, I genuinely want to know your thoughts on this.

  10. Danny S

    Joanne, in this race Scott Brown hardly represents libertarianism. He is in favor of the Massachusetts health care system, pro- Afghanistan war, and some other tidbits. He is a more big-govt Republican.

    Both Republicans and Democrats have really REALLY low approval ratings nationwide. The problem is breaking the mindset that these parties are the only ones allowed to win. Without us stepping up and voting for third party candidates, we will never be able to throw a wrench in the cycle.

  11. The Last Conservative

    Joanne, you are a socialist too, as are all Democrats, Republicans and libertarians. Everyone currently involved in politics besides myself, is a socialist because you support some sort of reform that has happened in the past 500 years. The only true conservative, anti-socialist government, is feudalist monarchy, such as that practiced in midieval Catholic Europe.

  12. Libervention Price Club


    Your query suffers from the false presumption that most Republican politicians are closer to libertarian ideals than most Democratic politicians are.



    https://independentpoliticalreport.com/2009/12/bill-redpath-don%e2%80%99t-waste-your-vote-vote-democratic/ (and comments)


    In regards to this particular race see


    In fact, after reviewing that evidence, Tom Knapp was forced to conclude that Martga Brown and Scott Coakley…er, excuse me, Martha Coakley and Scott Brown…are actually the same person!



  13. Darcy G Richardson

    There’s a socialist onslaught? Sign me up!

    Seriously, Joanne, the last time I looked Wall Street and the same privileged interests were still calling the shots in D.C., like they have in virtually every previous administration, Democratic and Republican alike.

    In fact, Wall Street is partying like never before, thanks to a bailout-inspired 67% surge in the Dow since the depth of this financial crisis in the autumn of ’08 when George W. Bush — you know, the bumbling blunderer whose amaurosis-plagued administration didn’t see this crisis coming until literally forty-eight hours before it happened — was still occupying the White House.

    While the investor class, pampered and protected from pain by both major parties, enjoys this unprecedented “jobless prosperity,” millions of ordinary working and middle-class Americans — those whose children and grandchildren will be paying for the federal bailout and Ben Bernanke’s multi-trillion dollar Federal Reserve generosity — have lost their jobs or have seen their hours, wages and benefits cut drastically.

    The GOP certainly isn’t without culpability in this economic crisis, one in which a dozen states are now facing fiscal calamity. Not to be too doom-and-gloom about it, but things are probably going to get a lot worse before they get better. You might want to look up the definition of Kondratiev Winter.

    In short, Joanne, both parties created this mammoth mess and both parties should pay the ultimate price at the ballot box…

  14. Pingback: Massachusetts: Independent Libertarian Joe Kennedy participates in third of five debates | Independent Political Report

  15. Joanne

    But, Darcy, if Martha Coakley wins, who suffers at the ballot box exactly? Who suffers if the Democrats in the senate keep a 60 vote majority?

    From what I understand, Coakley is the one who has insisted that Joe be included at the debates. Now, if this was a typical election, it’s a smart move on her part to have him there (and he certainly should be there as far as I’m concerned).

    But, this is not a typical election. The electorate is pretty p.o.’d, and I’d say Brown has a good chance of winning this race. That said, with so much at stake for our country, I would like to see the Libertarians, at some point, come together and back the Republican candidate. I would also give the Libertarians some much needed respect and credibility.

    And to Libervention Price Club:

    Riddle me this Batman, then why do Libertarians run in primaries against Republicans? Why do Libertarians run as “libertarian Republicans”? How about Ron Paul? Which party does he belong to now? Or his son, Rand? Which party does he belong to? Why is Martha Coakley demanding that Joe participate in the debates? Out of her superior sense of fair play and honor?

    While I have no doubt there are recovering Democrats in the Libertarian party (Glenn Beck), the proof, as they say, is pretty much in the pudding.

    Also, your answer to my question was pretty snotty, unlike the adult responses generously given by other posters. Admire yourself much?

  16. paulie

    Did you follow the links, Joanne?

    Give them a look and tell me what you think.

    They are really worth a read.

    As far as the question as to why some libertarians ally with the Republicans, it is somewhat complicated, but after you get through with the other links @ 13 you should read


    Rather lengthy, but well worth it.

  17. Michael Seebeck

    This isn’t surprising. Rasmussen Reports has a history of ignoring third parties, even in two-way races where they’re the only other choice. I think it’s something in the air in their office that causes brain damage.

  18. Kathy

    How many more chances do you want Republicans to have to ruin this country? Seriously.

    This concern above all else that someone might give poor people “something they don’t deserve” — oh, by the way, how can we help the tycoons on Wall Street ’cause they’re really struggling — needs to stop.

  19. paulie
    Issue Kennedy Coakley Brown
    Government Run Health Care Against For – Federal For – State
    Iran / Afghanistan Against For – Will Support President For
    Income Tax Against For – Expanding For
    Sales Tax Against For For
    Prop 2.5 Override Against Unknown For
    Social Security Make Voluntary For Unknown
    Federal Dept of Education Abolish For For
    Same Sex Marriage For For Against
    Cap & Trade Against For Against
    HR 2943 For Unknown Against
    Federal Reserve Against Unknown For
  20. Steven R Linnabary

    But, this is not a typical election. The electorate is pretty p.o.’d, and I’d say Kennedy has a good chance of winning this race. That said, with so much at stake for our country, I would like to see the republicans, at some point, come together and back the Libertarian candidate. I would also give the republicans some much needed respect and credibility.


  21. Lynda

    there’s no pretending involved. Most voters don’t know that there are more than two parties available. That’s because the media and polls don’t include them. As a third party activist I often get a blank look on many people’s faces when I mention a candidate outside the two-party system. The funny thing is that both the Democrats and Republicans have been steadily losing registered voters. The fastest growing group is classified as “Decline to State” which reached approx. 20% of the registered base in CA in 2009.

  22. Pingback: Joe Kennedy updates: debate, candidate issue comparison, youtube ad, position paper on spending and taxes, Wayne Root endorsement | Independent Political Report

  23. VMS

    Joanne – if you think the Republicans are generally the closest to the libertarians then I suggest you need to get informed about what a libertarian is (or what Republicans really do).

  24. Pingback: Libertarian Party blog: Joe Kennedy appears on 96.9 “Boston Talks” radio show | Independent Political Report

  25. Pingback: Joe Kennedy at five percent in Boston Globe poll | Independent Political Report

  26. Pingback: Rasmussen Polls Again | Independent Political Report

  27. Sky

    Joanne’s mindset is the problem with the political system in this country. People continue to be influenced by the media and continue to believe that there is no hope for any other party than democratic/republican. I urge my fellow citizens to vote with your heart next time around. If all voted for the party’s whose ideals closely match our own, there’s no doubt in my mind that a Libertarian would be our next president.

  28. Erik Geib

    How is it that nobody here managed to correct ‘Joanne’ about Glenn Beck? Not only is Beck NOT a member of the LP, Beck is NOT a g-damn libertarian.


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