July 17, 2023

Polls vs. Polls – Discerning Polling Methods and Results – with Mark Mitchell – [Ep. 177]

Polls vs. Polls – Discerning Polling Methods and Results – with Mark Mitchell – [Ep. 177]

Polls, polls, and more polls. It seems we can hardly turn on a news report without hearing some sort of poll results about any number of issues or people. This is true in non-election years, but it is even more apparent in election seasons. When...

Polls, polls, and more polls. It seems we can hardly turn on a news report without hearing some sort of poll results about any number of issues or people. This is true in non-election years, but it is even more apparent in election seasons. When properly researched and conducted, polls can provide incredible insight into the minds of citizens, which is helpful for everyone who cares about the future of our country. With so many polling firms, questions, and tactics, how can we – as average citizens – discern what polls are most accurate and what the results mean to our lives and livelihoods? Linda’s guest is Mark Mitchell, COO and Head of Polling at Rasmussen Reports, one of the nation’s most well-known polling companies. He and Linda discuss polling methods, how to analyze results, and what questions to ask before trusting news reports about polls. We do not need to let the media dominate our understanding of poll results. We can discern and decide as we evaluate various polls and results. Learn how by listening today.

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The opinions expressed by guests on this podcast do not necessarily represent those held or promoted by Linda J. Hansen or Prosperity 101, LLC.

Linda J. Hansen:  Welcome. Thank you for tuning in to this episode of the Prosperity 101 Breakroom Economics Podcast. My name is Linda J. Hansen, your host and the author of Prosperity 101- Job Security Through Business Prosperity: The Essential Guide to Understanding How Policy Affects Your Paycheck, and the creator of the Breakroom Economics Online course, the book, the course and the entire podcast library can be found on Prosperity101.Com. I seek to connect boardroom to break room and policy to paycheck by empowering and encouraging employers to educate employees about the public policy issues that affect their jobs. My goal is to help people understand the foundations of prosperity, the policies of prosperity, and how to protect their prosperity by becoming informed, involved, and impactful. I believe this will lead to greater employee loyalty, engagement and retention, and to an increased awareness of the blessings and responsibilities of living in a free society. Listen each week to hear from exciting guests and be sure to visit Prosperity 101.Com.

Thank you so much for joining with me today. Polls, polls and more polls. It seems we can hardly turn on a news report without hearing some sort of poll about any number of issues or people. This is true in non-election years, but it is even more apparent in election seasons. As someone who has been in the political arena for decades, I will admit to occasionally having poll fatigue. However, when properly researched and conducted, polls can provide incredible insight into the minds of citizens, which is helpful for everyone who cares about the future of our country. With so many polling firms questions and tactics, how can we as average citizens, discern what polls are most accurate and what the results mean to our lives and livelihoods? My guest today is Mark Mitchell, COO and Head of Polling at Rasmussen Reports, one of the nation's most well-known polling companies. I've been impressed by the unique approaches Rasmussen often takes to dig just a little deeper into issues and to ask questions other pollsters do not. Mark is a seasoned leader and strategist in finance, management and operations.

As the COO and Head of Polling at Rasmussen Reports, he oversees daily operations and the production of high quality and reliable polling data for various media outlets, political campaigns and research organizations. He was formerly the Head of Order Operations at Walmart, Ecommerce, andjet.com in other roles he used his management and strategy skills as an operating partner, a venture and private equity investor, and a startup strategist and incubator. His entrance into the polling world is rather unique, which allows him to have a less biased view as he directs his team listeners. I think you will find this episode to be insightful, educational, and it may have you look a little more deeply at poll numbers and the meaning of those poll numbers in the future. So Mark, thank you for joining with me. It's a pleasure to have you on the podcast.

Mark Mitchell: I'm happy to be here. Thanks so much for that great intro.

Linda J. Hansen: Well, I think that you'll bring great insights to this episode. And for the average person, we hear poll numbers, poll numbers, poll numbers. I don't know, it just seems like it's always this running loop of poll numbers from this, that or the other from all these different polling organizations. What would you say is a great way for the average citizen to discern what makes for a great poll or not so great poll?

Mark Mitchell: I think first and foremost, one of the things you want to look at is a company Upholsters track record. And I'm saying that because I think we at Rasmussen have a pretty great track record, but mostly because I think it's about fundamentally trust. If you do not have access to the underlying questions, the underlying data, the methodology or the weighting that went into that poll, you really are taking it on trust from a pollster. And the industry is fragmenting. There's a lot more people polling out there, and oftentimes people won't be in the field and then they'll pop up two or three weeks before an election. And unless you can click through and look at the actual data, I would be very careful about trusting pollster names that you don't know. Now, I think there's two primary use cases for polls, one that I think is increasingly more important and what makes Rasmussen really a standout name right now, and I don't think it's in accurately predicting elections. That's really how Rasmussen got off the ground was 20 years ago. Almost everybody in America had a landline phone. There were very few people out there politically polling and using robo dial tactics to really leverage and get out there and get more data. And Raspbustin did it, and we did it very well. We predicted a lot of national votes within 1%. But as people no longer use landlines, as people are more hesitant to pick up the phone, as people are more wary of scammers, data sources have fragmented. There are more polling people out there and there's a lot more variance between pollsters, a lot more opportunity to just fail or be inaccurate. And just in general, it's a lot harder to predict elections, especially at the state level, because it's harder to get that data now because of that. I think it's great that there are more pollsters in the field and I think aggregators like Real Clear Politics that show you all the polling and click through the underlying data and the cross tabs are really great.

They give you more data and they allow you to say, oh, there's Rasmus and how does it stack up against these other polling organizations? And let's look at how they called other elections. But now the big use case is what you'd hear a lot, I think, in the news 1020 years ago is a lot of stories that say, oh, this is what Americans think, Isn't that great? Or oh, Americans are going to church more this Christmas, isn't that great? Or things along those lines. And I hear a lot less of that personally when I watch the news, which I try to do as little as possible, to be frank, because I think that one of the things that's happening now is mainstream news sources are more interested in telling you what to think than they are in actually helping you understand what people think. And I think that's the fundamental difference that sets us apart. So if you go and look at Rasmuss and Poly now, if you look at the questions we've been asking over the last five or ten years, its questions that other people absolutely will not touch. Because either they're in the mainstream media that doesn't want to upset advertisers or upset their political connections, or they're people that, quite frankly, don't have the courage to ask questions about these taboo topics. And some of those are incredibly important topics that affect everyone election integrity, vaccine safety, politicization of our justice system. We ask these questions day in and day out, and we're the only ones out there. And instead of running their own poll, they attack us and they try and confuse people with minutiae about our methodology when the response should be, oh, well, we went out into the field with our very own holster and proved Rasmussen reports wrong. But they can't do that and so they attack.

Linda J. Hansen: Well, that's often the case. They will attack instead of dispute with actual facts. So I appreciate the bravery of Rasmussen and some of the things that you've been doing. That's really why I wanted to have you on the podcast too, because I've noticed Rasmussen over time, you ask questions that others do not ask. You dig a little deeper, like I said in the intro, and I think that that's so instructional for everyone, but it also can really help us to have insights into what's really going on. What are the trends really happening in America, not just the headlines, not just what the mainstream media or others want us to be fed or what they want us to think, but what's really happening below that waterline, shall I say. And it's important to be able to look at that and think through issues at a deeper level before we go farther on that, though, I think the listeners might be interested. How did you come into the polling world? Because I know this wasn't where you initially began your career.

Mark Mitchell: It's a bit of a COVID fluke, to be honest. I started my career in the military and then I worked with early stage companies and then technology companies, and I ran a really great team@jet.com, which was a fast growing e commerce startup that got acquired by Walmart. And Walmart has some aspects, I guess, that are to be appreciated, but it has other aspects that are not to be appreciated. And the timing came around. That when COVID got here and we all started working remotely. It was to me, the right time to part ways. And it just so happened through a family connection that I knew the person that took over for Scott Rasmussen when he left Rasmussen Reports in 2014. And so I started working here part time and I've learned a lot. But I think my biggest qualifier here is that I know that being right is important and I am an objective human being and I can separate my political biases from the data and I can be trusted, right? And I'm trying to be accurate and I'll go out on YouTube and tell you that to your face. And I think also I wouldn't have joined this company if I didn't fundamentally support their business model, which to me is different than many other pollster's business models. We don't take money from dark money pools and packs. We don't take money from the big political parties.

All of our sponsorships, if we have them, are disclosed to you. And most of our revenue comes from advertising and subscription. There's a whole industry of pollsters who will go out into the field and ask deceitful questions of people so that government organizations or NGOs can put headlines out there that are incorrect. And a lot of money changes hands. We're not part of that industry. So the second we're wrong, we cease to exist because our advertisers won't come here, people won't buy subscriptions. And I think that's a really important differentiating factor, and one that has put me in a position where you talked about my courage. To be honest. It really doesn't take any courage to say, well, today we're just going to ask this question, right? It takes absolutely no courage in our position and I think that's one of the reasons that we'll be here forever and that it's a really great company and I'm happy to do work for them.

Linda J. Hansen: Well, I would say it takes courage to stand by those results too. I know you've taken some heat and there's been some networks that no longer want to share your polling results because they disagree. You don't always fit the narrative, but the narrative isn't necessarily truth and they don't want you to share truth. So thank you for being brave through that and staying faithful to the core issues. So for people who really have no idea about polling, how it works, how you decide what to poll about, how you aggregate, what types of people you want to question, would you please give us a little bit of an overview of what goes into creating a poll?

Mark Mitchell: Lot to consider, but I would say the number one thing is where's the data coming from. And there's a lot of different places you can get data nowadays, and I can tell you where we get ours and why we choose that. So about 70% of our data still comes from Landline Phone IVR, which is interactive voice Response I E robocalling now, some people would look down their nose on that, but I would say there's still 95 million landlines in America. There are still hundreds of thousands of people that happily pick up the phone for Rasmussen reports and answer a poll. And it's because they've maybe been doing it for ten or 20 years and they recognize our name and some people don't and just still pick up the phone. Now, who are those people? They're mostly 50 and older. It's really hard to get the younger demographics and minority demographics using Landline IVR. So what we've done is reach out into online panels. So there's a whole industry in this country, well in the world, where people answer polls for money through many a myriad of different panel providers. So there's a whole industry that aggregate the data from those panels and make it scalable for people who purchase a lot of data, like us. Now, that data is very different. Those people are just trying to get that dollar 50 for completing that poll. And so they might not read the questions very closely, but what we can do is get specific demographics to supplement our landline.

What I will tell you is that from our perspective and the data sources we use, an online Republican mail answers questions very different than a landline phone Republican mail. And so it's very difficult to figure out how on our side to reconcile that. And what makes it even more of a challenge for, I think, other pollsters more than us is that many have moved to 100% online panels. And I think that's an issue because there's a lot less depth, a lot less fish in the barrel to shoot, so to speak, in order to answer your polls. And that's one of the big fundamental principles of polling, is that you're getting a random sample of the entire United States and maybe you're not. Now, other people will use SMS, so they'll send a text, and we're looking into that and we'll ultimately incorporate that into our data. That's a lot closer to landline polling, in my view, than it is to the online panels, but it's more expensive. And then there's a whole other aspect of the industry that uses live operators, that uses proprietary panels. And when you look at a poll, good transparency is what you want to see. What would be great is to see every question they asked with the exact wording in the order that they asked it. How many people did they ask? We'll get into waiting. But what demographics did they use to wait the poll and something about their methodology. But the problem is that they'll say, oh, well, it was a mix of online panels and Landline IVR or live operator calling, but you don't know what percent, you don't know how much data was thrown out there's just a lot. You're never really going to know. So we collect that data.

We just literally program a script into the IVR and send out thousands of dials and people respond. Or we'll create an online survey and it'll go to the online panel and we get that data back and we want it to match what we're trying to sample. So if I'm trying to sample the national US electorate, then we'll use our likely voter model which is a combination of gender, age, race and political party. And sometimes we'll wait by other demographics and sometimes we'll wait by the census if we're trying to represent the views of all American consumers. But the idea behind waiting is let's just say I get data back and it's two thirds female and one third male. Well, the electorate is 52% female. So I need to take all of the women in the poll and weight them down in order to match the actual electorate. And then you do that with every other demographic and it's an iterative process that ultimately makes the poll theoretically match and it's really good. I've been very surprised how we ask the same question over and over again to a different sample of 1000 people and get really close results. Now, with 1000 people, the margin of error. Is 3% which that's plus or -3% and some people would say, well, that's a pretty big window. First off, it's almost never that wide. We see like a point or two sometimes. But 1000 is a good size poll because if somebody disputes well, that's wrong. Well, like I said before, go do it yourself, right? It's better to pull more frequently than it is to have one huge massive poll that has like a 0.5% margin of error. And then a poll generates what we call cross tabs, which is not just the response, not just, well, all American voters think this, like 60% think that Joe Biden is profiting from illegal deals with China. But then you can go in and see, all right, well, how do 18 to 39 year olds think, how do black voters think, how do 50 to 100K incomes think? And that's where all of the beauty is. And even without subscribing, people can go to our site and look at polls and download the cross tabs. When we get a sponsored poll, we'll make those publicly available. And most recently we did a pretty interesting one where we went into California and polled on transgenderism among minors and parental rights and that was sponsored. People can look at the download the cross tab if they want a good example. It shows all the things that we think are important for transparency and there's a lot of interesting things to see, let's just say in that spreadsheet, I'm.

Linda J. Hansen: Sure well, you mentioned the frequency and I think that that is also one thing that Rasmussen does that several other polling organizations do not do. I mean, it's just a constant polling operation and on your website, you mentioned people can go to Rasmussenreports.com. You mentioned the website Rasmussenreports.com, but you have a daily presidential tracking poll. You have the immigration index. You have the right direction. Wrong direction? Poll. These are things you're constantly polling on. What else can people find when they go to the website?

Mark Mitchell: Well, we have pretty much all of the stories of the day. If something major happens in the news, you can guarantee within three or four days we'll have a story up. We just last week, Hunter Biden had a plea deal, and this week we came out with numbers about it. And I think we've also one of the important things that we're zeroing in on is what people think about each of the current Republican nominees in the primary. And as the election season heats up, we'll have the White House watch where we compare the two nominees. We'll be polling on all of the important issues that people think will decide the election. I think that'll be interesting to watch, too. But the tracking stuff is fascinating, and that is really what sets us apart.

A lot of pollsters, what they'll do is they'll do a mega poll and they'll go out into the field maybe once a month. And because they're paying for the online panels for these people to complete the results, they'll put 200 questions in there, let's just say. And what I think they'll do and this is conjecture, but I think they'll say, all right, well, we've got our results back, we've weighted it by our demographics, and Biden approvals is a little different than it was last month, but it probably shouldn't change that much. So maybe we should think with things in order, know, sort of smooth out that signal. I think it's just one of the things that they use as a benchmark to judge accuracy for the other questions in the poll. Well, we're literally asking human beings every single day what they think about Joe Biden and whether they think the country is going in the right direction, wrong, or on the wrong track. And we get a lot of flak recently for having Biden's approval pretty high. But I see the data every day, and there's reasons it should be where it's at, and it's not high. They're not good numbers, right? They're not as low as other less frequent pollsters have him. I think we had him at 45% today. And the fact is that he's got about a 75% approval rating among Democrats. And I see the signal, I see what changes the approval rating. And for Democrats, he got into the 60s after the Roe v. Wade decision out of Supreme Court, after the Afghanistan withdrawal, and in a very short period of January 2022 when everybody was sick of COVID and he was extending all of these emergency aspects like the employer mandate and stuff like that. Other than that, it's been in the 70s.

So Democrats like this guy and they're holding his number up. And that's just where we're at. And we had the two Supreme Court rulings come out last week and it was kind of predictable what would happen. Right direction, wrong track number went down as more Democrats all of a sudden said, wait, country isn't going in the right direction. I'm not getting my student loan paid off. And the approval shot up because they circled the wagons for him. So among Democrats, he went from like 74 to 78 or 79 maybe, and it's come back down and it's fun to watch. I can see how it responds.

Linda J. Hansen: And how would you say Republicans and Independents view him?

Mark Mitchell: His approval rating among Republicans is mid-teens. Last time I checked, there's a low single digit number of Republicans that support Biden. Now you say, well, how could that be? Well, it's because this is self-identified party and we'll have to say that Republican and Democrat don't necessarily mean the same things they did ten years ago. Let's just put it that way. And Independence, his independent numbers are just absolutely horrible. But there are some single issue independent voters that respond to things like the Supreme Court rulings. So he's been sitting about 35% with Independence and a 60 61% disapproval rating. But I think he got up to almost 40% with independence last week and it's evaporated again. I think he's back in the mid-30s. So it's been pretty reliable. And people could say, oh, Joe Biden. No way. 45% approval rating. But Trump spent most of the last two years of his term around 50. So structurally, Joe Biden's approval rating is about five points lower than where Trump's was at this point in his presidency.

Linda J. Hansen: Interesting. And it changes. It fluctuates up and down and things. But it's interesting that you've seen this relative consistency and you mentioned Trump and he has been polling like really almost in every single mean light years ahead of other primary opponents. And can you tell us a little bit about that and what are the things that are causing people to really support Donald Trump at this point in time? And while the media often says anybody but trump, I personally think a lot of citizens understand that if we really want to change things around and cut through the uni party, there's one person who's willing to take the flak to do it. And could that be it? That seems to be what's driving these poll numbers so much higher, this will of steel sort of that he has. But I know that when I've heard you speak on interviews before, this has been something. And despite how much they come after him with every accusation, that over time ends up being false. But it sure is in the news. In the meantime, it seems like he still keeps rising in the polls.

Mark Mitchell: The funny place we're in is that I don't even think voters need the accusations to be false for them to still vote for Trump. I think that's quite honestly where we're at now. It's hard to respond to everything you said with specific numbers. And so there's not one question I can ask to really understand all of that. But what I have asked is a ton of different questions, right? So if I draw conclusions, it's based on that. But I think the most important question we asked that really explains what's going on is back in November, after people expected the Republicans to do better, after there was this sort of like period of time where people were licking their wounds in November and December, back when Trump wasn't polling, that great. We asked voters, is the Republican Party still the party of MAGA and Donald Trump? And 78% of Republicans say yes. So it's Trump's party. That's what Republican voters, they themselves think. And now we talked about favorability. It's been a while since we've asked Trump favorability. I'll admit we have it coming out again next week. We've asked Trump Biden matchups, we've asked, but the Trump favorability numbers to me really stand out and that he is polling.

The last time we asked, I think it was 53% favorability rating with all voters. So we just talked about Joe Biden having a 45%, 44, 45%. Donald Trump is seven, eight points higher than Joe Biden is on a national stage. That's just incredible. Now, among independents, he's doing like 15 points better. And if you look at Republicans, there is a time when Trump got down to 70, I think it was January, he's back up to almost 80%. And there was a very short time in November when DeSantis was polling slightly better than Trump among Republicans and he declared his candidacy and boom. So Trump is right now, as of now, the highest rated Republican among Republican voters. He's the highest rated politician of anybody. We've asked on a national mean. We've asked the primary matchups, Trump's winning by increasing margins. But that favorability number, to me, it sells think he got indicted and his numbers went up. And what was I also thought is fascinating is we asked a question last week, we've asked a lot of questions about Biden fraud, but we specifically asked, have you seen more evidence of criminal wrongdoing by Biden or by Trump? And people say they've seen more out of Trump 45% to 42%. Now, clearly it's because the media has been 100% on Russiagate for eight whatever for a long time, right? But what I thought was fascinating is the independent numbers. And in that poll, 43% of independents said they've seen more criminal wrongdoing by Trump and only 40% said Biden. But Trump, if I ask, I guarantee you next week we're going to see a 15 point favorability advantage of Trump among independents. And if we did a 2024 Biden Trump matchup, trump would probably be up by twelve to 14 points among independents as well. So they don't care. They just do not care. And I think it's the issue set. But at this point, it's like there's so little trust in the federal government that they see, like, one human being out there attacking it. And that's what they want right now.

Linda J. Hansen: right. They want somebody to break up the bureaucracy and the uni party and things. And you had mentioned that the issue is important to people the economy, corruption in government, the border, different things like that are so important to Americans across the board, and they're seeing strength. You mentioned policies before. We were recording we were talking about that. When you're polling, you see that there are certain policies that are more popular right now. We've been talking about people, but people and their popularity. Once people, the voters understand the policies, then they start to support the person behind those policies. And I know that's what I try to do with Prosperity 101 is help people understand the policies, and then they can go make their decision on who they want to vote for. But they need to understand the policies of prosperity, the policies of freedom, the policies that will lead to national security and sovereignty. And those policies seem to be polling very well, correct?

Mark Mitchell: Yeah, you really described it very phenomenally there. Trump's platform is, I think, what made Trump popular let me rephrase that maybe not popular, but what got him into the position he was in. Right? Because I think a lot of that was just Trump, too. But then the things that you would say are the perfect Republican platform for 2022 didn't seem to work out as well for the Republicans in general, as you could say. They would have worked out for Trump, I guess is probably the right way of putting it. People cared in 2022 before the midterm. They cared about violent crime, inflation, the border, kitchen table issues, and that's not what the Democrat platform was at all during those time period, and yet Republicans didn't do that great well, you could say, well, why was it? Well, the election, I think, wasn't about Trump, and I don't think people trust the Republican Party. Now, people tell us we've also been pulling on the issues. Who do you trust more? Democrats and Republicans. And Republicans do have a significant edge on almost all issues at this current juncture. But every congressional Republican leader is rated so horribly, and we ask questions like which party is better at getting their own candidates elected and who does the news media favor? And everybody clearly knows that it's Democrats. So there's very little trust in the Republican Party. And I don't think people it's like they care about the issues, but I don't think it enters the mental calculus right now when looking at a candidate. And a perfect example of that is DeSantis. So DeSantis. He does great in Florida. People have a very good view of him. He was rated like. I said more favorable than Trump in November. Trump had a rough patch. He was, like, launching NFTs and supporting Kevin McCarthy, and his numbers went down in January. And then what happened is Trump got his act together. He started campaigning. He went to East Palestine.

He started speaking out in a way that resonated with voters. And right before that happened, DeSantis was actually within spitting distance of Trump in the primary matchup. I think we hit him, like, within eight points. It was like 45 to 30, whatever. So it was close. And in the next three months, DeSantis's numbers imploded all the way down to 62% to 17%. And what happened in that time period is DeSantis pretty much just declared he was a candidate for president. That's all that happened, right? And then a bunch of Trump stuff. And so you look at DeSantis and you say, well, if you compared his platform with Trump, it would probably be 95% correct. And so why did his numbers implode so much? Part of it is people say, all right, Trump is back in the game. I think that was a big part of it. Part of it, though, is that this aspect of, well, it's not this guy's time, right? But part of it is people can maybe try and point to specific things that DeSantis came out with or said or, oh, it's Disney stuff. I don't think so. I think the news about his backers is getting so my theory is that a lot of this is just republican voters have gotten really, really good at spotting an authenticity, and I think that's what they saw when they looked at DeSantis. So, again, it's like all about the issues, but at this point, not at all about the issues.

Linda J. Hansen: That's a really good point. You mentioned his backers. And when people talk to me about DeSantis, I loved what he's done as a governor, all these things. But also you can tell who you are by the friends you keep, right? Who are his donors? Who are the people who support him? What are their ties to China? What are their ties to that money that flows from these foreign companies or these NGOs that are connected to China? I mean, these are things we have to look at. And one of the things I think continually polling about, that would be great, because I think, like you mentioned, people are becoming more aware of that. And I know in my podcast and other things, I try to encourage people to look beyond the top layer, just go down a little bit more, look and say, like, okay, well, here's a candidate. He sounds like he's got good policies, whether it's DeSantis or Trump or whoever it is on whatever side of the aisle, right? But then go a little bit deeper and see, well, who's actually supporting them? Where does the money come from when they're doing internal polling? Who's doing that? How are they twisting it? Who does he cater to or she cater to? All these things have to be asked because we can be guaranteed that the mainstream media will feed us the narrative they want us to have. And so it's upon us as citizens to dig a little bit deeper to understand how polling actually works, to understand how to learn to discern from good polling versus bad polling. And then what we need to look at as citizens and not just depend on pollsters either.

Mark Mitchell: You brought up my favorite whipping boy, which is the media, because they're just failing so hard. Because every time I ask these questions, it's not going to get on ABC News, it's not going to get on CNN. We've had very little of our polling, believe it or not, on Fox News. Even a couple of people have gotten we did some very specific polling on Tucker Carlson's videos around the January 6 riot. Julie Kelly was able to get our name on there. But 59% of voters say that the media is truly the enemy of the people. 35% strongly agree and only 23% strongly disagree. Only 35% of Democrats strongly disagree. That's really bad. 56% of independents agree with that statement.

Linda J. Hansen: Well, that is a really good point to bring up. And that's what I try to do, bring forth information that will help people to discern, to make wise decisions for their businesses, for their families, for their lives moving forward, for when they go to the voting booth. We need to be informed, involved, impactful, which is my line, that when we're informed on the issues, we can be involved with the policies that matter to us and we can be more impactful. And I think what you're doing with Rasmus and polling and the way that you're doing it is unique and I appreciate it. And I know that you're going to have a positive impact now and moving forward. So before we close, what would you say to employers who might want to educate employees about how to discern, how to evaluate things when they hear polls or anything in the media about the political landscape?

Mark Mitchell: You know what? Let me just respond to that by saying that I oftentimes followed political news and felt anger or angst at seeing headlines. And I think a lot of it was because of the Red Team, Blue Team archetype that I very much think is a tool being used against people. And when I am seeing the numbers and when I'm literally asking the questions and seeing the results come back and trying to parse the answer objectivity right, I think that that's the answer to a lot of the issues that we have of political discourse. Right. And I think that's one of the reasons why a lot of people would say we're in a very confusing spot, because there's almost two different definitions of reality. But that's why Rasmussen and our numbers, I think, offers a really great solution to that. We poll on almost every topic. You can look at the numbers yourself and say on this particular topic, here's what everybody believes. Oh, I don't believe that. Well, it's fact, right? Like, we went and did the poll. Oh, well, that's a right wing pollster. Okay, fine, pick your attack narrative of choice. But the most important thing I think is, well, why didn't anybody go out and like I said, prove us wrong? It doesn't cost that much money. Anybody literally could go on Survey Monkey and run a poll and try and prove us wrong and on thing after thing after thing. A good example right here's a good example of employees and employers in the workplace.

There was a lot of discussion about vaccines in the workplace. Well, our numbers have proved that 28% of Americans say they know someone personally that they think died from the vaccine. 10% of Americans say they know somebody they think died from the vaccine in their household, and only 11% say they know somebody that died from the actual COVID virus. And 7% of vaccinated Americans say they've had a major side effect. That's 12 million Americans. So that's okay. That's not a ten year scientific study we're waiting for. That's what real Americans say. Real Americans say that the vaccine is dangerous, that they know people that died, that they have concerns about the health and safety. Right? So as an employer, maybe understand that, maybe understand that a large portion of America has literally concerns about before you enforce a mandate. I don't know, I think that's probably the best example of anything we've done. But public opinion is important. Need to know what other people think.

Linda J. Hansen: That's a good point. And I liked what you said about being objective the objectivity. And I know a lot of things that I try to promote with Prosperity 101 or issues that we discuss, they tend to be on the more conservative side, obviously, especially business friendly policies tend to be more conservative. It's like, I'm not going to shy away from supporting capitalism and supporting freedom, and I would say the radical left does not support any of that. And so you have lines drawn. But there's such a uniparty in DC now, and we need to really be able to discern the issues at a deeper level. So I appreciate what Rasmussen does. If people want to reach you, they can go to Rasmussenreports.com. And can they reach you personally from there? If they'd like to contact you, they.

Mark Mitchell: Can get to me through the website. Yep, absolutely. We're on Twitter perennially, so also people can follow us on Twitter. We interact with folks there and absolutely respond to DMs. I think Twitter is a great place now to have open and uncensored conversations about important topics, and we do that. So I think, I humbly think that people would have a good time following us. And also you mentioned before we've been trying to get a YouTube channel up and running Rasmussen underscore poll at YouTube. People say, well, why aren't you on YouTube if you care about censorship? Well, because it's a great way to reach new people. What's fascinating is our most viewed video on YouTube went viral, had like 200,000 views and brought in thousands of subscribers is actually a discussion about election integrity. So I think it's a great place to be.

Linda J. Hansen: Yes, it can be. Are you on? Rumble and Getter. And Truth as well.

Mark Mitchell: Yeah, we parrot all of our videos to Rumble and all of our tweets get parroted to Gabgeter and Truth Social. But Twitter is just such a great place to be because that's where all the public officials are, too, and that's where our conversation is the freshest. And it's like if you see a poll that you like that you think is important, yeah, we run a poll on impeachment. Why don't you throw that tweet at Kevin McCarthy and see what happens? Because you can do that on Twitter and you can't do that on True Social.

Linda J. Hansen: Great. So again, listeners, you can go to Rasmussenreports.com. You can look at their daily presidential tracking poll, their immigration index, their right direction, wrong direction, and all the things that they do on a regular basis. Frequently polling the American citizens to really get the pulse of what Americans are thinking and how they're responding to the issues of the day. So this isn't just about candidates. It's about issues. It's about policy, and it's important. So thank you. Mark, do you have anything else to say before we close?

Mark Mitchell: No. Thanks so much for having me here. It was a great conversation and yeah, really hit us up on YouTube. What I do is that we would absolutely love for people to support us at the website by maybe getting a reader subscription or whatever, but I like to put out five or six minute videos that really hit the highlights of the numbers and give you a little bit more than just the top layer. Following trends, how the numbers have changed over time, how are the demographics looking and the topics you're not going to find them anywhere else.

Linda J. Hansen: Well, we appreciate that. That the unique approach that you take. So thank you so much and thank you for being here today.

Mark Mitchell: My pleasure.

Linda J. Hansen: Thank you again for listening to the Prosperity 101 Podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe, share, and leave a great review. Don't forget to visit Prosperity101.com to access the entire podcast library to order my newest book, Job Security Through Business Prosperity: The Essential Guide to Understanding How Policy Affects Your Paycheck or to enroll you or your employees in the Breakroom Economics online course. You can also receive the free e-book, 10 Tips for Helping Employees Understand How Public Policy Affects Their Paychecks. Freedom is never free. Understanding the foundations of prosperity and the policies of prosperity will help you to protect prosperity as you become informed, involved, and impactful. Please contact us today at Prosperity101.com to let us know how we can serve you. Thank you.