Monday, December 19, 2011

GOP Polls for week ending Dec 17, 2011

Wow, what a difference one week makes! The polls are still leaning in Gingrich's favor nationally, but his lead is definitely not a sure thing.
Quick wrap up on the polls for last week (GOP polls for week ending Dec 12). Gingrich was still on the rise, with his average lead nationally about 12 points ahead of Romney. Romney was continuing to hold on to his consistent 20%. Cain was still showing up in the numbers, and Ron Paul had moved up to about 9%. The rest of the pack showed little to no change (as always).
This week is our first official non-Cain polling week. And what a difference a week makes!

Gingrich is down 4%
Romney is ever faithful with his 22.5% (up 1.7%)
Ron Paul moved up .3%
Michele Bachmann is the surprise dark horse this week and moves up 3.2% to 4th place, putting her a full point of Rick Perry (who saw no change).
Rick Santorum stays steady at 3.5%.
And Jon Huntsman moves up from 2.5 to to 3.0, which if you think about it, is a 25% increase in supporters for him. So bravo Jon Huntsman!

In short, Gingrich is not benefiting from Cain's demise.
It is interesting to note that the Reuters/Ipsos numbers are significantly different results from the other polls. So I went to the source to see what made this poll different. First of all, I found that Real Clear Politics says that 443 registered voters were polled. The source (the ipsos site) says 1,102 adults were surveyed via phone. In states were both Republicans and Independents can vote together in the primaries, Gingrich is slightly lower on 25%, with Romney still on 18%. In a one-on-one matchup between Gingrich and Romney, Gingrich leads by 13 points (52% vs. 39%), as compared to a 10 point lead with the other candidates.
However, despite the Gingrich lead lead over Romney among Republicans, the question remains as to whether Gingrich is electable on a national level. President Obama leads all Republicans in the head-to-head matchups, but Romney remains the Republican best situated to challenge Obama, with  48% Obama and Romney 40%). (A substantial change from Romney’s 1-point lead over Obama in late October.) Gingrich loses to Obama 51% to 38%.
Which all begs the question, why are the numbers changing? Are we seeing an "anyone but Gingrich" effect? If we add up all of the candidates' points, except for Gingrich, (sticking with the Reuters/Ipsos numbers) they conglomerate to 61%. Take 10 points of that away over to Gingrich to give him the 38 he has, and guess what you get? 51%. Same as Obama's number. Looks to me like it could be an "anyone but Gingrich" result. (It is worth pointing out that the same crude math doesn't work for Romney.)

Now, on to the corn subsidy state of Iowa!
Last week we saw only one new poll out which showed Gingrich 30%, Romney 20%, Paul 11%, Perry 8%, Bachmann 9%, Santorum 5%, Huntsman 2%, and Cain still in the race with 5%. And then two days later there was news that a new Rasmussen polls had Romney in the lead at 23%.
This week we have all new polls in the RCP average! (Includes the Rasmussen poll.) And Cain was not in the picture during polling dates.

Hold on to your hats, because this week everything has changed! Each of the three polls has a significantly different result. Gingrich alone swings 13%!
But it is Ron Paul that needs to be looked at carefully. Last week he had only 11%, and now he's up to 19.3%.
The PPP poll is the only one that was conducted after the Fox News GOP Debate. 
No matter which of the three polls you look at, you realize Ron Paul needs to be taken as a more serious threat. And when you look at the overall overage, Gingrich, Paul, and Romney are all within 2 points of each other, and these surveys come with a +/-3 or 4% on them.

New Hampshire also only provided 1 new poll last week- Romney 35 , Gingrich 26, Paul 17, Huntsman 8, Bachmann 3, Perry 2, Santorum 2.

This week -
Romney down by 1.8%
Gingrich down by 4%
Paul down by 1.3%
Huntsman up by 3.3%
Bachmann up by .3%
Santorum up by .3%
And Perry down by .3%

With all of those .3% (which is between 1 and 2.1 people, by the way) it makes me wonder how many kids turned 18 in New Hampshire last week and registered to vote.
Romney still has a stronghold on the state. He is leading more securely in New Hampshire than anyone is in Iowa.
Iowa and New Hampshire are really not showing the same numbers as the national averages at all. Here's the quick and easy table for comparisons. South Carolina didn't have any new polls out today, but I put it on the table just for further explanations.

Nobody looks the same. Perry ranges from 11 in Iowa to 1.7 in New Hampshire! (Maybe his tour bus can't drive that far north?) Same thing for Huntsman in New Hampshire to South Carolina. Gingrich has a huge lead in South Carolina, but Romney got the endorsement of their governor yesterday, so that may change things as well.
Let's not forget, before we put too much stock into these polls, that the Iowa Caucus winner only goes on to be the nominee 50% of the time. Whereas, the winner of the New Hampshire primary went on to be the nominee 7 out of 8 times! South Carolina, which I haven't dissected publicly yet, picks the nominee with far more accuracy! Getting it right 6 out of the last 6 times! But there's much more to that number than originally meets the eye.

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