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Rasmussen: ‘Trump 2024 Would Beat Either Biden or Harris’

Claim

A September 2021 poll indicated "Donald Trump would defeat both U.S. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris if the former president decides to run in 2024."

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On September 24 2021, AmericanMilitaryNews.com published a story headlined, “Rasmussen poll: Trump beating Biden 51%-41% in 2024 presidential poll,” which claimed:

Donald Trump would defeat both President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris if the former president decides to run in 2024, a new poll revealed Thursday [September 23 2021].

According to a Rasmussen Reports poll, in a race between Trump and Biden in 2024, 51 percent of possible voters said they would vote for Trump, whereas just 41 percent said they would choose Biden.

On Twitter, the verified account @Rasmussen_Poll tweeted about this purported poll on September 23 2021, linking to secondary coverage a day later:

As is typical for fact checks relating to purported polls, we attempted to review the material made public by Rasmussen. The link they initially tweeted led to a page obscured in large part by a paywall; a “methodology” page was available here:

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Voters are divided on whether former President Donald Trump should run again in 2024, but most would vote for him in a race against either President Joe Biden or Vice President Kamala Harris.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 48% of Likely U.S. Voters think it would be a good idea for Trump to run for president again in 2024, while 44% say it would be a bad idea. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

[…]

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Rasmussen described the linked material not as a “poll,” but as a “survey.” A link for “survey question wording” was not behind a paywall, but four links at the top were all unavailable for review without the purchase of a subscription:

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Earlier in September 2021, we examined claims that nearly half of Americans believed U.S. President Joe Biden to be “mentally unstable,” which was not the work of Rasmussen. However, we were able to access the demographic data of that survey, context not obscured by a paywall:

‘Almost Half of America Thinks Biden is Mentally Unstable According to New Poll’

Contextually, there were plenty of reasons to be skeptical of Rasmussen’s claims. Contemporaneous tweets from the company demonstrated partisan collaboration (such as one “poll” which was “Sponsored by The ANTIFA by @JackPosobiec”):

Still more Rasmussen tweets seemed to be pushing not poll results, but 2020 election conspiracy theories:

In June 2019, FiveThirtyEight.com’s Nate Silver said of Rasmussen:

In short, headlines like “Rasmussen poll: Trump beating Biden 51%-41% in 2024 presidential poll” in September 2021 were seemingly opaque by design; the outfit described it as a “survey” rather than a “poll.” Information about the survey was hidden behind a paywall, making it impossible to analyze, apparently by design. Concurrent social media activity by @Rasmussen_Poll was highly partisan in nature, and included collaboration with far right disinformation purveyor Jack Posobiec.