In a political system where we're only being given the "realistic" choice between two heavily flawed candidates for our country's most important position in office regardless of the fact that there are other possibly more capable and experienced candidates to choose from... I, like many, have found we need to give every candidate an equal chance to be heard. This is the only way in which we can find the best possible choice.
I asked a former Santorum supporter colleague of mine who plans on voting for Mitt Romney "If you thought a third party candidate could win, would you vote for them?"
"If I knew the candidate."
The large portion of voters have their minds made up before they even hear of the other candidates and then another large portion of undecided voters end up thinking they only have two viable candidates to choose from when this is far from the truth.
We've created a vicious cycle of two parties silencing any other opposition by allowing the media to think they're the only candidates worth covering, because we keep voting in most part for only two parties. We've come to believe the illusion they have laid out for us.
In the same way our debates are staged and allowed to ignore possible candidates with an eager crowd none the wiser (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1NXhoP5bQ2M), the same is happening in news media every day.
RasmussenReports.com polls are used to generate news coverage for presidential candidates, but that news coverage doesn't cover the candidates that are sorted under "other choice", which is the case regarding 3rd party and independent candidates. They then use the excuse that it doesn't give them an accurate picture of the race. What is more "accurate" than knowing all the numbers and who's elligible as a candidate? They are implying that only Obama and Romney are worth covering, because they believe they are the only candidates with a chance to win.
They are part of the reason people believe this to be true.
When your news generating polls help create an unintentional blackout of news coverage that decreases a candidate's chances of winning... how can you use a situation you've helped created as your reason for not doing something?
They have become part of the problem in our broken two party system of only being given the option to choose a "lesser of two evils" as they themselves have acknowledged is the reality of our political system.
"46% Will Be Voting For Lesser of Two Evils This Presidential Election"
-Rasmussen Reports http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/elections/election_2012/election_2012_presidential_election/july_2012/46_will_be_voting_for_lesser_of_two_evils_this_presidential_election
"A slogan on the Rasmussen website further confirms the pollster’s intricate knowledge of the symbiotic relationship between polls and the news: “If it’s in the News, it’s in our Polls.” With a slogan like that, Rasmussen obviously knows that his polls do, in fact, help drive coverage. Still, he has made the decision to keep voters in the dark rather than shining an honest light on the full spectrum of the options this November."
If they weren't generating news themselves with their polls, this would be a different story, but it's not. When they are reporting news themselves, which is then compounded by the various news agencies that cite them, they become just as responsible to be fair and unbiased for the sake of the public that wouldn't know what candidates to check out and do research on otherwise.
Here is their skewed reasoning as to why they do not include 3rd party candidates in their presidential polls: http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/about_us/public_relations/press_room/press_releases/our_view_of_the_third_party_option_in_presidential_polling
"A Reason-Rupe poll finds that 80% of Americans say they would or might consider voting for an Independent or third-party presidential candidate in the 2012 election. Specifically, 60% said they would consider voting for an independent or third-party candidate, 20% said they might consider, 17% said they would not consider, and 3% said they did not know whether they would consider voting for an Independent or third-party presidential candidate."
With 60-80% willing to consider voting for a 3rd party or independent and Rasmussen Reports basing their exclusion off of who people CURRENTLY support and not the fact that they might possibly support someone else in the future if only they knew of them... how can they use that as their reasoning for exclusion?
Their reasoning for 3rd party poll exclusion is a mere FALLACY.
If they asked who people supported and gave each candidate as a choice, the number of Romney and Obama supporters DO NOT change. Their results can STILL be compared to each other individually. Nothing changes the accuracy of that comparison. The ONLY change would be that instead of only being given the polling choice of "other candidate" they would have not only the choice to give poll readers a more "accurate" poll, but other candidates would gain the much needed exposure they would need to create a more fair and objective playing field and end result in the general election. It would both stop sabotaging the nation's choice while promoting a greater one.
If you want FOUR or more choices instead of only the choice between TWO possible evils, I hope you'll both sign and share this petition.
Include 3rd Party candidates in your 2012 presidential polls
In a political system that:
1. Has taught the nation they only have a choice between two mainstream political candidates.
2. Has caused, as RasmussenReports.com has even polled, 46% of Americans to feel the only choice they have is the lesser of TWO evils.
3. Has, as Reason-Rupe polled, 60-80% of Americans to possibly consider a 3rd party or independent candidate.
4. Where political polls create news which is then only compounded by the many news agencies who cite them.
5. News coverage is only given to those that are named in polls.
...it is unfair to exclude other candidates from your polls as Rasmussen Reports has just as much responsibility to report fair and unbiased news via their results.
To use the polling of who people CURRENTLY support as their reasoning for excluding candidates when it's known they might consider someone else if only they knew about them is completely backwards. Rasmussen Reports is using the problem this type of political polling has helped create as your reason to continue to be a major cause of it.
The reasoning "experience has shown us that asking about 'Some Other Candidate' provides a more accurate view of the race than including third party candidates." implies that you're only concerned with the accuracy of the only two candidates you think can win.
60-80% of Americans don't agree with you.
"Accuracy" is not an issue. Adding the other candidates to the polling DOES NOT change how many people choose Romney or Obama in the poll and it doesn't stop Rasmussen Reports or any other organization from comparing only those candidates if they choose.
If anything, adding the other candidates to your polling gives a larger and more accurate picture of the race and doesn't show a bias in favor of a broken two party system while giving those 60-80% a chance to know who else they can vote for.
Please consider the full effects of your polling on news coverage and the large number of people that haven't heard the likes of Gary Johnson or Jill Stein who would support them, because of biased and misguided news coverage, and add them as well as any other official presidential candidates to your political polls.