Rasmussen Reports on Wednesday unveiled the first-ever “citizen-sourced” public polling project ahead of the 2018 midterm elections. The Citizen-Sourced National Midterm Election Polling Project is a non-profit venture powered by Go-Fund-Me targeting U.S. Senate and gubernatorial races in up to 20 key battleground states.
“On November 8, 2016, millions across America were stunned by the outcome of the presidential elections. Many still are. Our readers were not surprised because we always told them the 2016 election was a close race,” Rasmussen Reports Board Member Ted Carroll said. “Then our polling nailed the exact Popular Vote margin between the two leading 2016 candidates while our research also correctly informed readers that issues, not media-fed controversies, would ultimately decide the election.”
It is the first time a daily national polling firm has ever offered ordinary Americans the chance to contribute to public opinion surveys. While subscribers and non-corporate donors exclusively fund public polling conducted by Big Data Poll for PPD, we do not track daily in non-presidential election cycles.
“The 2016 presidential election wasn’t the first major polling blunder in U.S. politics,” Big Data Poll and PPD Election Model Director Rich Baris said. “But it does appear to be the one in which pollsters lost the public trust.”
Nearly 6 in 10 (57%) likely voters in the U.S. now say they do not trust political polls. That’s up from the last previous high of 55% and is being fueled by skepticism and distrust from significant majorities of Republicans and unaffiliated voters.
“If the polling industry wants to earn that trust back, it can’t keep the corporate media model.”
Contributions to the project will cover direct and indirect polling and reporting costs for up to 4 separate polling cycles. Rasmussen Reports said it will be solely responsible for all “polling matters including timing, questions, fielding, tabulations and reporting.”
Total contributions to the project will be capped to avoid raising funds that cannot be specifically used on polling and reporting costs.
“This undertaking is solely about getting independent accurate unaffiliated battleground state polling data out and into the hands of American voters,” Mr. Carroll said.
If surplus proceeds do remain, they will split evenly between ProPublica and Reason. In the event that this project flops and we are unable to raise enough money to do at least some of the polling work described here, then these same two organizations will receive our unspent contributions.
Learn more about the Citizen-Sourced National Midterm Election Polling Project