GLENN: Let me go to Scott Rasmussen first. He's a pollster. Scott Rasmussen from the Rasmussen Reports. Hey, Scott, how are you?
RASMUSSEN: I'm doing great, Glenn. I've got to tell you I always enjoyed being on your show on CNN and appreciated your staff as well.
GLENN: Well, thank you very much. Are you -- I mean, you go over to Fox, too? You do stuff over all of them, right?
RASMUSSEN: I'll answer questions from anybody who asks.
GLENN: Okay, good, good. Because I've enjoyed our relationship, Scott, and I like the way that you think and your polling is very accurate and I have just a few questions that I wanted to get down to the bottom with. One is the Bradley effect. Can you explain the Bradley effect? And then also, do you even believe in the Bradley effect?
RASMUSSEN: Yeah, those are two different things. The theory is that there is a, at least as it's become a myth that there are a number of people who will tell a pollster they are going to vote for an African-American candidate and then in the privacy of their own voting booth, they won't do it. It comes down to an election in California a generation ago, nearly 30 years ago. There are a number of factors that actually went into, you know, Bradley not winning after he had a big lead in some polls. Race may have been one of them. However, I've just got to emphasize that was a generation ago.
GLENN: 30 years ago. 30 years ago.
RASMUSSEN: Right. Look, we called in Tennessee two years ago in Harold Ford's race an African-American running in Tennessee, a place if there was going to be a Bradley effect, you would have seen it. It didn't show up. You know, is it possible that there are some people who refuse to vote for an African-American? Absolutely. In fact, 8% tell us that in our polls, that they will not vote for an African-American.
GLENN: You're ridding me.
RASMUSSEN: No. Now, it's largely generational, and there are more questions about people's peers, you know, would your family, friends and neighbors vote for an African-American. But, you know, this is not something that is -- and I know, believe me, I get e-mails all the time from people who are hoping that John McCain's going to pull off an upset here in the last days saying that because of the Bradley effect, our polls that show, you know, Obama ahead with a narrow lead really mean McCain's ahead, and that's just not the case.
GLENN: Okay. So let me go here because this is my theory. I don't believe in the Bradley effect. I don't believe that -- I shouldn't say this. I don't know anybody that would do that. I mean, the racists I meet are pretty clear, you know?
GLENN: So, you know, they are pretty proud to say, "I'd never vote for, you know, an African-American." But I don't know those people, but I'm sure they exist. Here's what I think is a possibility. Today's world is so unbelievably politically correct, the culture has and the campaigns have made it in such a way that if you say you're against Barack Obama or you're not going to vote for him, you are just like... it just leads to no good. Is there a possibility that there is some margin here that is -- just wants to be left alone? You know what I mean? And they will say whatever they have to say just to get off the phone, just to move on with life. And the reason why I ask this, Scott, is I saw an interview. Where was it? I think it was on Fox in the morning. They were doing a live interview in a diner in either North or South Carolina, and the reporter went up and said, "So who are you going to vote for." And one guy said, "I'm voting for Barack Obama." The other guy said, "I don't know yet. I'd rather not comment." And I was struck with, I think he does know. He just doesn't want to say it. And the next guy said, "I don't, I don't want to say."
RASMUSSEN: Yeah. You know, look, I think what you're describing, there's a little bit of reality to it. I think there are some people who say they are not sure who actually are leaning towards John McCain. If you look at our poll compared to other surveys, we almost always get the same results for Barack Obama's total. There's some variance among the number of people who say they are going to vote for John McCain, and I think that variance helps explain some of the differences in the overall poll results and it also plays right into what you're describing. But having said that, you know, there's a million details. Putting a poll together in theory is easy. Making it work in practice is a great challenge. I'll tell you the things that worry me this election cycle. The biggest one is youth turnout. And the reason I say that is if young voters really show up in large numbers as the Obama camp hopes, that would be unusual historically and it would be very good for a campaign Obama. On the other hand if after all the hype the youth don't come out and vote in big numbers, then the shift will be a couple of points in the other direction towards John McCain. And it is issues like this that, you know, as a pollster we hope they all cancel each other out by the end of the day and that our estimate really is right on the money. And I have to say when I look at all of the data and everything else, it's a very stable race, it has been very stable ever since this economic meltdown began, and I believe what's happened is it's not so much a question of John McCain versus Barack Obama anymore. It's become a referendum on the Bush years, and part of the reason I say that is what we're seeing in John McCain's slippage in the polls over the last month we're also seeing in Senate races and other indicators.
GLENN: Is there any -- is there any indication at all that you get that -- let me ask it this way. Congress has the last number I saw was a 9% approval rating. How is this not translating to the Democratic members of congress?
RASMUSSEN: You know, we just did a poll and we found out that about 38% blame the Bush administration for our problems with the economy right now, 27% blame congress, 11% blame the Clinton administration, you know. So there is some bipartisan blame going around. But part of what you're describing has been created by John McCain. If you watched the debate the other night and if you've listened to Barack Obama in the last week or two, he keeps talking about this is the worst economic situation since the Great Depression. If John McCain were more comfortable talking about the economy, what he could say is, no, actually it's the worst economic situation since Jimmy Carter was in the White House and that's why we needed Ronald Reagan to come in. And there would be, you know, better positioning for him. But he has not taken advantage of that in any way, shape or form.
GLENN: What do you think about the youth vote? Is there any way to measure? When you say that historically they never have come out to vote, I'm trying to think. I mean, Bill Clinton -- well, I guess Bill Clinton kind of connected with the youth but I've never seen a movement before like Barack Obama. Have we seen anything like this ever before?
RASMUSSEN: No. And, you know, let's face it. 18 to 21-year-olds have only been voting for a generation and, you know, the biggest reason those youngest voters got to vote is because they told congress, if we're old enough to go to war, we should be old enough to vote. What those folks wanted was an end to the draft. Congress gave them the right to vote and they just never took advantage of it. My suspicion is youth turnout will be up a little bit this year. Not so much because of the movement aspect or the enthusiasm aspect but because Barack Obama's team has been very organized and they have taken advantage of Internet technology and I believe they will be reminding young people of the vote and to get their votes in early and they have taken the steps to register them. So I think there will be some increase but I don't think it's going to fundamentally alter the demographics of the electorate.
GLENN: So if that doesn't fundamentally alter and the race is this tight, who wins?
RASMUSSEN: Right now it will be Barack Obama. The reason I can say that is with such comfort is not only has he been stably ahead in our model, what we see in our polling -- we always have to try and gauge. We have a series of questions to determine who's going to show up and vote, and we are seeing some increase but not a dramatic increase among the youngest voters. But the reason I'm so comfortable saying Barack Obama would win today is because if you look at the electoral college and you look at the states where the candidates are competing in, there is not a single state won by John Kerry four years ago that John McCain is ahead in. There are nine states that George Bush carried four years ago that we show as either tossups or leaning towards Obama and, you know, when he start talking about Ohio, Florida, Virginia, North Carolina all either tossups or leaning a little bit towards Obama, that's pretty dramatic. John McCain has to win them all to win the White House. Barack Obama would need to pick up one of those.
GLENN: So the Senate race, do they have 60 seats, the Democrats? Do they get 60 seats at the end of this?
RASMUSSEN: Right now the answer is no, they would be close. There have been some indications in the last few weeks that the Senate numbers are starting to shift in favor of the Democrats, and we probably won't know until right before election day. In fact, if you recall, two years ago control of the Senate wasn't decided until the wee hours of the morning when George Allen finally lost in a very close race. You know, we may know earlier how close they are going to be. And my suspicion is if the economic turmoil keeps up, if the market keeps being highly volatile and mostly in a negative direction, the Democrats will get very close to 60 and it will be -- if that happens, the first time since Lyndon Johnson that we'll have a president elected with such a large majority in the Senate.
GLENN: Yeah. Before that it was 1933. The idea of voter fraud, is this -- with an election this close and the idea of voter fraud -- and I'm not a voter fraud expert but have you seen anything like this before? Has this kind of voter fraud happened over and over and over again and we're just very, very sensitive to it at this point? Or is this something new, Scott?
RASMUSSEN: Well, I think there have been problems with voting probably since shortly after George Washington was sworn in, but most of the time it doesn't matter because we haven't had very close elections. But the last several elections have been so close, we're starting to see more flaws in the process. And on top of that, the new technologies and the new communication vehicles for getting people to register to vote I think have opened up some new opportunities. And what it's really done is it's undermining the very legitimacy of the process. Only 53% of voters in Ohio are very confident that their votes will be accurately counted and the right person declared the winner this year.
GLENN: That is really staggering. Have you ever seen a number like that before?
RASMUSSEN: No. I mean, we have seen -- there's a little bit of humor you have to put in all of it. Only about half of Americans typically say that elections are fair to voters but that's sort of in a generic sense. What we see is when the Republicans are winning, Republicans say elections are fair and Democrats say they're not. And when Democrats win, we see the reverse. But something specifically like this in terms of having their votes counted, it's a new high.
GLENN: In California Proposition 8, this thing is going to change. Opponents say this will change absolutely everything. Proposition 8 is to make marriage between a man and a woman -- this is going to change, and we're going to do something on this next week. This is going to change the way schools behave. I believe this could be the end of school choice, quite frankly. This is going to be -- change the way everything is in America. It will probably -- your church, if you stand for marriage between a man and a woman, your church could lose its tax-exempt status, your church could be deemed a hate organization. I mean, the possible ramifications from Proposition 8 are just astounding. Have you done any polling on this?
RASMUSSEN: We have not polled on that issue and it's something that is obviously a big question in the State of California and all around the country. I think the implications you are talking about actually have more to do ultimately with what happens with the judges that are appointed in the next four or eight years. You know, and that's something that is directly under the control of the next President.
GLENN: Well, I mean, it's already happened when California -- and believe it or not, you know, one of the certain court of appeals actually overturned it but I mean, one judge has already said you don't have right to teach your kids in school.
GLENN: It's madness. How about Colorado and the union measures there that also are going to fundamentally change the way America does business in America? I mean, unions are really trying to make a play here. This happens to be -- and correct me if I'm wrong, Scott. I believe this election is the liberal dream come true, or at least the possibility of the liberal dream come true.
RASMUSSEN: Oh, absolutely. And in fact, when I mentioned a few moments ago that this would be the biggest Senate majority since Lyndon Johnson, we tend to forget what happened with Lyndon Johnson. He was a very skilled politician, an incredible legislative genius when he had a narrow majority to work with when he was the Senate majority leader. But when he became president and had no checks on him, his personal instincts took over, nobody checked them and he couldn't even stand for reelection four years later. Barack Obama, if he gets elected with a 60-seat majority in the Senate, is going to face a challenge. The left is going to have a lot of pent-up demands. They want to destroy anything that was left from the Reagan era and they are going to be pressing Barack Obama to push through an agenda that is far to the left of where most Americans are. If Obama is unable to resist, it probably will have some negative implications for Democrats going forward. But who knows what happens in the meantime.
GLENN: Okay. Scott, I appreciate it. We'll talk to you again, my friend.
RASMUSSEN: Look forward to it.