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Much like Rocky Balboa, the famed Philly underdog, Alex Snitker keeps getting knocked to the mat, but always comes up swinging. The former U.S. Marine and Libertarian U.S. Senate candidate who crashed a media-sponsored candidate forum in Sarasota last month has now set his sights on the man who he feels has wronged him, and the voting public.
In a poll released Thursday by Rasmussen Reports, pollster Scott Rasmussen once again left Snitker’s name off the survey, their sixth poll in the last two months to exclude him. In response, Snitker said, “Scott Rasmussen is intentionally skewing the poll so to create the most favorable outcome for Marco Rubio.”
As evidence, Snitker points to multiple results from Rasmussen polls that show Rubio with a lead over Charlie Crist, despite recent results from Public Policy Polling (PPP), Ipsos/Reuters, Quinnipiac, and other major pollsters showing Crist with a five to nine point lead.
Rasmussen’s decision to exclude his name from their polls, coupled with his consistent results in favor of Rubio, is all the evidence Snitker needs. “Scott Rasmussen is nothing more than a shill for the GOP and his polling data should be considered flawed,” said Snitker.
Rasmussen may already be feeling the heat from the Snitker campaign. Earlier this month, campaign volunteers inundated Rasmussen with phone calls and emails urging them to include Snitker in their next poll. Campaign volunteer coordinator Bev Baker estimated that Rasmussen received hundreds of calls and emails over the course of a few days. “We asked Alex’s supporters to contact Rasmussen, and they responded in droves,” said Baker.
Debra Falk of Rasmussen Reports said that they heard Snitker’s supporters “loud and clear,” and added, “In fact, we could have heard their message from Mars.”
Perhaps buckling slightly to the pressure, Rasmussen did include an “other candidate” category in Thursday’s poll, the first time he’s done so for the Florida Senate race since at least April. In this poll, the “other candidate” received three percent of the vote, which is slightly lower than Snitker’s numbers in a PPP poll released Tuesday.
In an interview with Russ Morley on 850 AM in Miami last week, Rasmussen was asked why he hasn’t included Snitker in his polls. Rasmussen responded that, “The Libertarian candidate right now [sic] not doing very well. We will be listing, uh…you know…giving people the option to say they’re voting for some other candidate.” However, Rasmussen failed to commit to including Snitker by name in future polls.
Claims of Rasmussen’s GOP bias are nothing new, but they usually are voiced by liberal Sunday show pundits or the opinion pages of left-of-center print behemoths. This may be the first time that a conservative has pointed it out.
Snitker also points out a bit of irony in what he believes Rasmussen’s reasons are for keeping him out of the polls. He cites the results of the PPP poll, as well as his internal campaign polling, which shows that he is actually pulling more votes from Crist and the democrats than he is from Rubio. “That shows that Constitutionally limited government and individual liberty are not left-right concepts. They are American concepts,” said Snitker.
A phenomenon being called the “Snitker Paradox” in the blogosphere theorizes that pollsters hold the power to determine the perceived viability of third party candidates. If the pollsters don’t include their names in the poll, they have no opportunity to enter the debates, which usually have an entrance fee of 5-15% in a major poll. If the candidates are excluded from the debates, they are unable to increase their standing in the polls due to their usually limited advertising budgets.
Thus the Republican/Democrat duopoly remains unbroken. Which, at least according to Snitker, is the way Scott Rasmussen likes it.