Sixty-six percent of Americans believe that the Fourth of July is one of our nation's most important holidays. To celebrate, 62% of Americans will watch fireworks, 54% will enjoy a cookout with family and friends, 19% will attend a parade, 13% will go to the beach, and 11% will sing patriotic songs. Only 6% will read the document that started it all: the Declaration of Independence. And to be honest, many probably mix up the declaration and the Constitution. But the vast majority continue to embrace the core ideals expressed in our nation's founding document. 



For more than a generation, James Carville's campaign maxim, "It's the economy, stupid," has been held up as an essential truth of American politics. There's no denying that a strong economy is an incumbent president's best friend. Seventy-three percent of voters currently rate the economy as a very important issue. As a result, if the economy remains strong for another 1 1/2 years, many analysts believe President Donald Trump will be favored to win reelection. On the other hand, if a recession hits next year, we will almost certainly have a new president in 2021.



There was a time when health care technology meant expensive new machines that only hospitals could afford. The costs were so enormous that only insurance companies could pay for their use and insurance bureaucrats only grudgingly allowed people to get needed tests and treatment. Today, however, tech is putting health care tools in the hands of individual Americans at amazingly reasonable costs. The transformation brought about by the new technology will fundamentally disrupt every aspect of the health care industry.



From the moment former Vice President Joe Biden threw his hat in the ring, he has been the dominant front-runner in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination. That status was confirmed in the most recent ScottRasmussen.com poll of the race, showing Biden with 39% of vote and a 19-point lead. His nearest challenger -- Sen. Bernie Sanders -- attracted just 20% support, and nobody else reached double digits. But in a party that has become younger and more racially diverse, it's never seemed likely that two white men over 70 would have the field to themselves.



Investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson began the latest edition of her weekly syndicated show Full Measure with an in-depth report on the growing distrust of the media. The package focused heavily on the results of a poll conducted for Full Measure by pollster Scott Rasmussen, which had some devastating results for media credibility. In summation, Rasmussen concluded that voters see journalists as a “political activist, not as a source of information.”



Fifty-three percent of voters believe political corruption is a crisis in the United States, while another 36% believe it is a significant problem but not a crisis. That's consistent with other ScottRasmussen.com polling data showing that 87% of voters nationwide believe corruption is widespread in the federal government. Solid majorities believe there is also corruption in state (70%) and local (57%) government



The political stalemate leading to the so-called shutdown of the federal government has shown with devastating clarity how official Washington is consumed with symbolism over substance.

The symbolism begins with the word shutdown itself. Despite the noise and fury in Washington, the vast majority of Americans haven't noticed any change in their daily lives because most of the federal government has not shut down. It is functioning as normal. Social Security checks go out, and the military is still on duty.



In an early Wednesday morning story which seems to have been a strategic trial balloon, Charles Babington at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, ran a story trying to portray the NSA surveillance revelations by Edward Snowden and subsequent developments as matters which have only riled up people on the "far left and far right." Otherwise, the American people are okey-dokey with NSA's data dragnet. Too bad for Babington and the administration, as I demonstrated in Part 1 (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), that what appears to have been a belated attempt to intimidate prominent elected politicians has to a large extent not worked.

This post will further show that polling data Babington cited near the end of his report contradicts his claim that "Solid majorities of Americans and their elected representatives appear to support the chief elements of the government's secret data-gathering."



On October 3, as Kyle Brennan's at NewsBusters noted the next day, NBC News political director Chuck Tood, appearing on CNBC, characterized presidential polls generated by Scott Rasmussen's polling group as "slop."

The specific quote: "We spend a lot more money polling than Scott Rasmussen does. We spend a lot more money on quality control....I hate the idea that [NBC] polling, which is rigorously done, has to get compared to what is, in some cases, you know, slop." At the time, while many polls, including NBC's (done in conjunction with the Wall Street Journal), were showing Barack Obama with leads of four points or more nationally, Rasmussen was virtually alone Obama barely ahead and occasionally tied with Mitt RomneyChuck was clearly not pleased with that. Someone ought to ask Todd if his evaluation holds based on the results following the jump which were posted at Real Clear Politics early Friday morning.



While a guest on the Fox News Channel's "America Live" program on Tuesday, Scott Rasmussen dismissed a comment made last week by NBC's very liberal political director Chuck Todd who called the pollster's work "slop."

Even though Rasmussen said he doesn't know Todd or follow his work and is happy to have the competition, host Megyn Kelly called the NBC correspondent's remark "mean" as she came to the pollster's defense.



Appearing on CNBC's Squawk Box on Wednesday, NBC News political director Chuck Todd launched into a rant attacking Rasmussen Reports polling: "We spend a lot more money polling than Scott Rasmussen does. We spend a lot more money on quality control....I hate the idea that [NBC] polling, which is rigorously done, has to get compared to what is, in some cases, you know, slop." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Co-host Joe Kernen challenged Todd: "[Rasmussen] was right, though, the last couple of elections." Todd shot back: "He got right at the end. It's what happens in the middle sometimes that seems a little bit – a little bit haywire."



Bill Maher isn’t scowling at conservatives on his HBO show right now, but on his blog, he has a new character on the political scene to attack: pollster Scott Rasmussen.

In Maher’s brain, conservatives are reality-deniers who live in the “Fox-Rush-Drudge” bubble who won’t listen to opposing views. "Because wingnuts can go for months and not talk to anyone who doesn’t think Obama is a bigger threat to America than Al Qaeda with airborne AIDS, but that’s because they live in rural Tennessee, and inside the information bubble.” Polls are the only political reality to snap them out of it – until Rasmussen came along and “deluded” them with poll results that disagree with the “mainstream” mob: