Missouri U.S. Senate Race is a Three-Candidate Race, Yet Mason-Dixon Poll Gives Respondents Only Two Choices

Three candidates are on the Missouri ballot for U.S. Senate: incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill, Republican nominee Todd Akin, and Libertarian nominee Jonathan Dine. Yet a recent Mason-Dixon poll conducted for the Post-Dispatch and New 4 asks voters, “If the 2012 general election for Missouri’s U.S. Senate seat were held today, would you vote for Claire McCaskill, the Democrat, or Todd Akin, the Republican?” See here. Scroll down.

The results of that poll, we are told, are: 50% for McCaskill, 41% for Akin. Presumably, 9% of the voters either said “I don’t know” or said they are voting for the Libertarian, or at least for someone else. One wonders why pollsters don’t present the actual list of candidates to respondents, especially when there are only three. An earlier Rasmussen Poll did present respondents with the choice of McCaskill, Akin, or “someone else” and that polled resulted in 9% voting for “someone else.” See here for Nate Silver’s discussion of that poll, written before the Post-Dispatch Poll results had been released. Thanks to PoliticalWire for the link to the Mason-Dixon Poll.

Here is an interview with Jonathan Dine, conducted by Eric Dondero at LibertarianRepublican.


  1. Todd Akin needs to DROP OUT IMMEDIATELY. Period. The Libertarian nominee then can have a one-on-one dogfight with McCaskill.

  2. Casual Bystander · · Reply

    I wonder if Akin ever really had a shot? He sure blew it if he did. It is truly amazing how stupid some people can be.

  3. Here’s what needs to be done by polling companies. All polling companies, large and small, should present many polls, ranging from polling head-to-head races between 2 candidates to polling with most of the candidates to polling with all of the candidates. This should be standard when it comes to polling.

    For example, in the MO US Senate race, Mason-Dixon would’ve had to do the following polls:

    – A poll with all 3 included
    – A poll with only the Democrat and Libertarian
    – A poll with only the Republican and Libertarian
    – A poll with only the Democrat and Republican

    At least, I think that’s the least that could be done, since all third party and independent candidates face a major fight when it comes to trying to get some media coverage.


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