This won’t help Rasmussen’s reputation

THIS WON’T HELP RASMUSSEN’S REPUTATION…. If you follow political pollsters, you’re no doubt familiar with concerns about Rasmussen. The pollster’s results seem to generate results that Fox News just loves (i.e., the kind that tell Republicans what they want to hear).

As has been documented by Nate Silver, among others, there’s reason for skepticism when it comes to Rasmussen. And as Salon‘s Justin Elliott notes today, there are also new reasons to question the pollster’s political leanings.

Pollster Scott Rasmussen, who maintains he is reliable and independent despite criticism from Democrats that he tilts to the right, will in November speak for no fee on a post-election National Review cruise to raise money for the conservative magazine.

Besides Rasmussen, the week-long cruise features an impressive lineup of conservative operatives, journalists, and academics — Karl Rove, Andrew Breitbart, Phyllis Schlafly, and Jonah Goldberg, to name just a few — and will sail around the Caribbean stopping at ports in the Bahamas, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel, Mexico.

Rasmussen’s compensation for the appearance is the free cruise itself for him and his wife.

Given concerns about the pollster’s Republican-friendly results, it’s safe to assume Rasmussen appearing on a cruise alongside right-wing celebrities to help National Review make money will not quiet fears that the pollster is far from independent.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.