Fox misleadingly promotes misleading Rasmussen poll

Blog ››› ››› TERRY KREPEL

On the April 9 edition of Fox News' Special Report, guest host Chris Wallace noted a Rasmussen poll in which, he said, "53 percent oppose the reduction of the U.S. nuclear arsenal agreed to in a new treaty with Russia." Just one problem: Rasmussen apparently didn't actually ask its poll respondents about the U.S.-Russian treaty.

None of the five nuclear weapon-related questions in Rasmussen's poll mention the existence of the treaty. The question Wallace was apparently referencing asked only, "Should the United States reduce the number of nuclear weapons in its arsenal?" without mentioning that Russia would be reducing its own arsenal in kind. A related question asked, "How likely is it that other countries will reduce their nuclear weapons arsenal and development in response to the actions taken by the United States?" On that question, a total of 54 percent chose either "not very likely" or "not at all likely."

One can easily assume that if Rasmussen had informed its poll respondents that the U.S. and Russia had signed a treaty and that Russia also agreed to reduce its nuclear arsenal, the negative responses to those two questions would be lower. Wallace, meanwhile, falsely claimed that the poll asked about the treaty when, in fact, Rasmussen polled on one isolated aspect and didn't mention the treaty at all.

As we've repeatedly pointed out, Rasmussen has a habit of asking misleading poll questions that just happen to elicit responses favorable to conservatives.

Posted In
National Security & Foreign Policy
We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.