Rasmussen Reports parts ways with founder Scott Rasmussen

Scott Rasmussen, the founder of conservative-leaning polling outlet Rasmussen Reports, left the firm last month over a dispute with the board of directors about the direction of the company.

“The Rasmussen Reports, LLC Board of Directors today confirmed that founder Scott Rasmussen left the company last month,” the firm said in a statement on its website Thursday. “In part, the move reflects disagreements over company business strategies.”

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Chief Operating Officer Mike Boniello will take on a broader leadership role until a replacement can be found.

The statement from the board of directors said Rasmussen’s “legacy remains intact,” and that it would continue using his polling methodologies and protocols in its public opinion surveys. The firm said it would also maintain the “editorial culture” it developed under Rasmussen.

The board of directors statement alluded to one area where the firm might recalibrate its polling methodologies, saying it will “continue to build the company’s polling technologies to address the dynamics of a mobile marketplace.”

Rasmussen did not call cellphones for its polling surveys, but rather said it reached those who had abandoned landlines by using an online survey tool to interview “a demographically diverse panel.”

Rasmussen was the focal point in a controversy over polling during the 2012 presidential election, when Mitt Romney’s campaign and other Republicans said polls showing Obama with a significant lead were inaccurate.

They argued many mainstream polls skewed in Obama’s favor because of sample sizes that based 2012 turnout projections on 2008, when Democrats — and Hispanics, blacks and young voters in particular — turned out in record numbers. 

One website, www.unskewedpolls.com, began re-weighting the mainstream polls to closer track the demographic assumptions of Rasmussen’s conservative polling outlet.

The final Rasmussen daily tracking poll showed the candidates entering Election Day in a statistical tie, with Romney taking 49 percent support over President Obama at 48 percent.

That was vastly off the mark, as Obama won the popular vote by 3.85 percentage points.

Gallup, which was similarly off the mark in its 2012 presidential polling, announced an overhaul earlier this year that included a new cellphone-to-landline ratio, because it said its previous ratio produced “older and more Republican respondents.”

Updated at 4:05 p.m.

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