Showing posts with label 2012 GOP primary polls. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2012 GOP primary polls. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Romney still ahead in New Hampshire (2012) -- July 2010

No surprises here:

Romney: 31%
Gingrich: 14%
Paul: 13%
Huckabee: 12%
Palin: 9%
Pawlenty: 3%
Daniels: 1%

Someone else: 5%
Undecided: 11%

Sample: 415 Republican voters
Margin of Error: +/- 4.81%
Conducted: July 23-25, 2010

I won't dwell on these results. More than anything, they simply maintain the status quo: Romney looks good in New Hampshire. Ho hum. However, I will add one note of caution. This was a survey of Republican voters in the Granite state. It does not in any way account for the mass of independents that will surely participate in the Republican primary with Democrats idle in 2012. The argument could be made that Romney would benefit even more from the inclusion of independents. Yet, New Hampshire primary voters have been known to be, oh, I don't want to say quirky, but willing to take a flyer on someone other than the frontrunner. While there is no definitive frontrunner for the Republican nomination at this point, Romney is the New Hampshire frontrunner and that gains him some points in laying claim to that tag at the national level.

Speaking of Romney, FHQ will have an update -- with graphics -- of his trial heat numbers against Obama later today.

Are you following FHQ on Twitter and/or Facebook? Click on the links to join in.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

It's too bad Kentucky's primary is so late

From GOP12:
A new Magellan Strategies survey (pdf) has Sarah Palin leading her prospective 2012 rivals in Kentucky.

1. Sarah Palin 28%

2. Mike Huckabee 24%

3. Mitt Romney 16%

4. Newt Gingrich 12%

5. Ron Paul 4%

6. Tim Pawlenty 2%

If Sarah Palin wins Kentucky in 2012, she'll already be the Republican nominee. But that's all FHQ is willing to say. As of now Kentucky is scheduled to hold a May 22 presidential primary in 2012.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Gallup on 2012: Obama in a Deadlock with Generic Republican

Oh, and there was an open-ended GOP primary question too. [Here's the Gallup release.]

2012 General Election
Obama: 44%
Republican: 42%
Other: 3%
Not Sure: 11%

Sample: 1025 adults (nationwide)
Margin of Error: +/- 4%
Conducted: Feb 1-3, 2010

Notes: Obama garners nearly 90% support from Democrats and the Republican gets 86% from Republicans in the survey. Among independents, though, the GOP holds a 45%-31% advantage over the president.

2012 GOP Primary Race
Romney: 14%
Palin: 11%
McCain: 7%
(Scott) Brown: 4%
Huckabee: 3%
Gingrich: 3%
Paul: 2%
Pawlenty: 1%
(Bob) McDonnell: 1%
Fred Thompson: 1%
Jindal: 1%

Other: 10%
None/No Opinion: 42%

Sample: 495 Republicans or Republican-leaning independents (nationwide)
Margin of Error: +/-5%
Conducted: Feb 1-3, 2010

Notes: That's a lot of survey respondents who have no opinion or chose no one. Despite that lack of a clear "face of the party," the generic GOP candidate still fares rather well against the president. Yes, generics usually do pretty well, but still, it isn't a bad place to be if you happen to be on the right.

Recent Posts:

Monday, November 30, 2009

Washington Post Poll: 2012 GOP Primary Race

From The Washington Post:

Q: If the 2012 Republican presidential primary or caucus in your state were being held today, for whom would you vote?

[Click to Enlarge]

Yes, Sarah Palin is leading here, but the real news -- to FHQ anyway -- is that half of the survey respondents in this case either chose no one/other, wouldn't vote or had no opinion one way or the other about the 2012 Republican nomination. That is an awfully high number compared to other similar polls conducted during 2009. Granted, the question was slightly different than some of the other surveys we have seen on this subject as well. In other instances, names were provided, but respondents in the Washington Post were asked not to recognize names but to recall them. In that regard, it isn't terribly surprising that Palin -- someone with the most name recognition currently -- led the list. That neither Huckabee nor Romney fared any better than they did -- 10% and 9% respectively -- was also surprising. [And no, FHQ does not attribute Huckabee's pardon trouble for any of this since the story broke after the poll.]

And no one candidate cleared the 20% barrier either.

Poll: Washington Post
Margin of Error: +/- 4%, +/-5%
Sample: 485 Republicans and 319 Republican-leaning independents (nationwide)
Conducted: November 19-23, 2009

Recent Posts:
Rasmussen 2012 Trial Heats (Nov. '09): Another Tie for Romney Against Obama

Happy Thanksgiving from FHQ

Purity Tests? Not for the NC GOP

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

CNN 2012 GOP Primary Poll: Huckabee Pulls in Almost a Third of Support

New Addition: FHQ has also now made it easier for you to track the evolution of the 2012 Republican primary trendlines you see below. Just click here or on the link below the latest 2012 update on the left sidebar to see the posts dealing with each of the eleven surveys released thus far.

[Click to Enlarge]

Poll: CNN/Opinion Research
Conducted : Oct. 16-18, 2009
Sample: 1038 adults (nationally), 462 Republicans
Margin of Error: +/- 3% (full sample), +/- 4.5% (Republican sample)

Huckabee: 32%
Palin: 25%
Romney: 21%
Pawlenty: 5%
Someone else: 10%

1) Mike Huckabee is the first candidate to top 30% in any of these polls thus far. On top of that, the former Arkansas governor is close to pulling in a third of the (Republican) survey respondents' support and is the most favorable among all respondents.

2) Sarah Palin is the next most favorable, but is also the most unfavorable with over half of all the respondents leaning toward the latter. It would have been nice to have seen the favorables split by party. Still, Palin does the best in this primary poll (25%) as she has done in any such poll since stepping down from the Alaska governorship in late July.

3) Finally, Mitt Romney falls back for the second consecutive poll, but remains the least favorable/unfavorable candidate outside of Tim Pawlenty (a function of nearly half the respondents not knowing who the Minnesota governor is).

And FHQ was going to write Palin off as being a part of that top tier of candidates.

Recent Posts:
State of the Race: New Jersey Governor (10/27/09)

State of the Race: Virginia Governor (10/27/09)

Why the Democratic Change Commission's March 1 Mandate Will Be a Tough Sell Without a Bipartisan Primary Reform Plan

Monday, October 19, 2009

New (Well, Old) Rasmussen 2012 GOP Primary Poll: Huckabee's Tops

[Click to Enlarge]

Huckabee: 29%
Romney: 24%
Palin: 18%
Gingrich: 14%
Pawlenty: 4%

Polling Firm: Rasmussen
Margin of Error: +/- 4%
Sample: 750 likely GOP primary voters (nationally)
Conducted: October 15, 2009

Last Friday, Rasmussen released a look at the (very early -- Had to say it.) 2012 Republican presidential nomination race. This is the first such poll in nearly two months -- the head-to-head trial heat polls against President Obama are done more frequently -- but it seems to be showing the same picture with, perhaps, a slightly different spin. First of all, Mike Huckabee has traded positions with Mitt Romney, taking over the top spot for the first time since a July ABC/Washington Post poll had the former Arkansas governor in the lead. Still, we're operating with the same working group of contenders intact.

Or are we?

Though we've had but two polls (this Rasmussen one included) since August showing a widening gap between Sarah Palin and the top threesome, I'm on the verge of saying that there are two lead groups: the Huckabee/Romney group and the Palin/Gingrich group. The former has been consistently in the 20-30% range throughout the polling conducted since the presidential election a year ago. The latter group has been fairly consistently within the low 20% range and lower. Is the former Alaska governor settling into a position in the upper teens now? Only additional polling will tell us that for sure, but I think it is on the table now for consideration. Last week's Gallup numbers on Palin seem to echo this. Granted, that is a national poll of her approval and not a poll of likely Republican primary voters for 2012. Still, Palin has been in a better position overall prior to now.

Is it all bad for the former vice presidential nominee? Well, yeah it is, because she is also getting beaten handily in head-to-head Republican primary match ups against both Huckabee and Romney as well. Here are those numbers (also from the same Rasmussen poll) as well as the Romney/Huckabee trial heat:

Romney: 52%
Palin: 37%
undecided: 11%

Huckabee: 55%
Palin: 35%
undecided: 10%

Romney: 39%
Huckabee: 44%
undecided: 17%

Polling Firm: Rasmussen
Margin of Error: +/- 4%
Sample: 750 likely Republican primary voters
Conducted: October 15, 2009

A couple of notes about these, to me, somewhat strange polls. [The numbers are fine. They make sense, but I'm still trying to figure out why these particular match ups were polled. It just seems strange. But I think FHQ was the one that said it liked the information. Can't have it both ways, FHQ.] First, when Palin isn't among the list of candidates the undecided group shoots up to the high teens from the low double digits. Is that indicative of folks voting for someone other than Palin or just a signal that people are moving toward her? Sure, the temptation is to say that it is probably some of both, but look closely. Romney and Huckabee's numbers stay steady against Palin, but drop in her absence. Is that overwhelming proof that respondents are taking an "anybody but Palin" approach? No, it isn't, but there is some of that in there.

The second caveat contradicts that point, though. If we look at the figure Rasmussen loves to track on a daily basis in his Twitter account and apply it to Palin (and the other Republicans) instead of President Obama, we see that more people strongly favorable of Palin compared to those very unfavorable of her. Now, Obama has been stuck at around -10 in this (approval) rating for a long while, but Palin and the Republicans are a different story (and should be among an entirely Republican sample). The bottom line, though is that Palin is +31 by that metric (strongly favorable - strongly unfavorable). That bests Romney (+30) but pales in comparison to Huckabee's +43 rating. Of course, that there is such a difference between Romney and Huckabee on this measure (while Romney and Palin are close) yet Romney and Huckabee have similar positions relative to Palin likely says that there is some choose "anybody but Palin" activity in this sample.

Now let's see if Rasmussen releases any trial heats against Obama in the next couple of days. Public Policy Polling is set to release their numbers on that front on Thursday.

Recent Posts:
The Week Ahead

State of the Race: New Jersey Governor (10/16/09)

State of the Race: New Jersey Governor (10/15/09)

Sunday, August 30, 2009

2012 GOP Presidential Primary Poll (Clarus Research Group): Romney Jumps

Earlier this week, Clarus Research Group released the results that included not only a look at the 2012 Republican presidential primary race, but also glanced at the head-to-heads between President Obama and what FHQ will dub the Public Policy Polling Four (Gingrich, Huckabee, Palin and Romney). In this first part, let's focus on primary race. [We'll get to the general election portion in part two.]

First, the results [pdf]:
Romney: 30%
Huckabee: 22%
Palin: 18%
Gingrich: 15%
Jindal: 4%
Other: 2%
Undecided: 10%

Margin of error: +/- 3.1%
Sample: 353 Republican voters
Conducted: August 14-18, 2009
This is the first evidence anywhere that any of the troika of Huckabee, Palin and Romney are breaking away from one another. Romney has an eight point edge in this poll, the largest margin anyone of the trio has held over anyone else in the group in all of 2009. And this is the first time anyone has eclipsed the 30% mark in any of the polls conducted thus far. That mark is also the highest any prospective 2012 GOP candidate has been since Sarah Palin was at 29% in the February CNN poll. Yes, these are nice factoids, but no, they don't mean that much in 2009. However, as I said, this is the first instance in which there has been any significant light between any of the Huckabee/Palin/Romney group. If one thing has been true in these polls throughout 2009 it is that in any given poll at least two of these candidate are within the margin of error of each other. That isn't the case here.

Also notable is the fact that Jindal made it onto the list of candidates. There isn't anything right or wrong about that, but it is strange to see Jindal included, but someone like Pawlenty left off. I hate that Clarus didn't shed any light on who the candidates were that were among the 2% volunteered group. [I'm willing to bet Mark Sanford wasn't named.] As I've said previously, though, beggars can't be choosers in these situations. Three years out, you can take what you're likely to get.

[Click to Enlarge]

One theme that FHQ will touch on tomorrow is how Palin is doing among women; not that well. We have observed that phenomenon in the context of the head-to-heads with Obama but not in a primary setting. Surprisingly, Huckabee actually does better amongst women than men; the former Arkansas governor is +11 in the female to male comparison. Every other Republican candidate falls well behind that mark, however; all the way into the negatives. Romney has the largest deficit (-7), while Gingrich, Jindal and Palin all have -3 deficits of women to men. That certainly is more in line with where Republican candidates end up in these comparisons versus Democrats, but that Huckabee number is noteworthy.

Tomorrow FHQ will have a glance at how those gender breakdowns look in the trial heats against Obama.

Recent Posts:
Defense Authorization Bill Amendment Could Affect Primary Timing

Nevermind: Democratic Change Commission Meeting Postponed

Speak of the Devil: The Texas Two-Step in Court

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Marist 2012 Presidential Poll: Palin Lags Well Behind Obama but Holds Her Own in the GOP Primary Race

Marist set the 2012 jokes aside for a moment and actually got involved in the early polling for the next presidential election. Nationally, the Marist University poll probed its 938 respondents on questions focused on Sarah Palin, but for 2012, matched the former Alaska governor against President Obama and gauged her odds in the race for the Republican nomination as well. The results? In the general election, not so good. But in an early look at the primary race, Palin was once again closely clustered with both Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee setting the 2012 pace. Newt Gingrich, Bobby Jindal and Tim Pawlenty trailed that group to varying degrees and nearly a quarter of the respondents were still undecided. That's a pretty good chunk of those polled still playing the wait and see game. In fact, "unsure" would win if the election were held today. Reminds you of Jimmy Carter losing to "uncommitted" in the 1976 Iowa caucuses yet still winning the contest, doesn't it? That is the highest that type of figure has been. Of course, this is asking "unsure" but doesn't include "other" along with it to incorporate those who might feel strongly about a candidate off this list.

Let's look at the results and their attendant graphics. First the general election match up:
[Click to Enlarge]

Obama: 56%
Palin: 33%

Margin of error: +/- 3.5 points
Sample: 854 registered voters
Conducted: August 3-6, 2009

First of all, the rub on a lot of these polls lately has been the divide between the registered voter results and the likely voter results. This poll is made up of registered voters and that likely is helping bump up Obama's support. Likely voters would give us a more Republican flavor and Palin would hypothetically be closer. Still, Obama would undoubtedly be ahead in a likely voter sample. The one thing were missing here (and Public Policy Polling will help me out with this tomorrow.) is another Republican polled against Obama. Without that, we are deprived of the interesting gender gap numbers we've seen among the Republicans versus Obama. Other Republicans have been running ahead of Palin against Obama among women in other polls.

And the Republican primary race?

[Click to Enlarge]

Romney: 21%
Palin: 20%
Huckabee: 19%
Gingrich: 10%
Jindal: 5%
Pawlenty: 1%
Unsure: 24%

Margin of error: +/- 5.5 points
Sample: 310 Republicans (& Republican-leaning independents)
Conducted: August 3-6, 2009

There isn't much new here that we haven't discussed either earlier in this post or in conjunction with another primary poll. It isn't like the wide margin in the Palin-Obama trial heat (a figure that runs counter to the closing gap witnessed over the last several months.). Again, at this early point, it is Romney, Palin and Huckabee in no particular order and then everyone else. That doesn't mean someone else won't be the GOP nominee in 2012, but these are the top options as of August 2009 (and throughout the year for that matter).

NOTE: There should be some additional 2012 numbers from PPP sometime tomorrow.

Recent Posts:
Which Republican is the Biggest Threat in 2012?

2012 New Hampshire Republican Primary Poll: Romney Up Big

Rick Santorum for President? ...and Romney in Iowa

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

FOX Poll: 2012 GOP Primary--The Romney/Huckabee Dead Heat Continues

Yesterday, Fox released an update of their May survey on the 2012 Republican presidential primary field. Here are the numbers of interest:

Romney: 22%
Huckabee: 21%
Palin: 17%
Giuliani: 13%
Gingrich: 9%
J. Bush: 1%
Pawlenty: 1%
Sanford: 0%
Other: 1%
Too early: 10%

Margin of error: +/- 6 points
Sample: 303 Republicans (national)
Conducted: July 21-22, 2009

[Click to Enlarge]

There's nothing shocking about these results. As most of these polls have demonstrated, Romney, Huckabee and Palin lead the pack. However, we can also glean from the inclusion of Giuliani among the list of candidates, that name recognition probably matters an awful lot. The former New York mayor and Newt Gingrich are below the trio at the top, but above some of the lesser-known candidates and those named Bush. As I've continued to say, there are some well-formed options at the top, but some of the other options are not as well-defined at this point. Tim Pawlenty seems to be signaling a presidential run both by not seeking a third term as Minnesota's governor and by assuming the vice chair position within the Republican Governors Association. I suspect we'll see Pawlenty's name rise over the course of the next couple of years.

Everyone else is stationary for the most part since the May poll by Fox. Interestingly, those responding that it is too early to tell rose from 7% to 10%.

Recent Posts:
Modified Delaware Plan

The Week Ahead

Presidential Primary Reform Week: Reading Room

Friday, July 24, 2009

Oops! A 2012 GOP Primary Poll FHQ Missed and Another Rant on the Over-Interpretation of These Polls

Home renovations like the ones FHQ did in mid-May can put a damper on your 2012 poll-watching in a heartbeat. And apparently my blogger-turned-handyman days caused me to miss one of the 2012 GOP primary poll conducted by FOX [pdf] during that period.

Excuses, excuses.

Anyway a hearty thank you to GOP12 via CQ PollTracker via GOP12 for the belated heads up. For the record, here are the particulars:

Huckabee: 20%
Romney: 18%
Gingrich: 14%
Palin: 13%
Giuliani: 12%
Sanford: 4%
Bush: 3%
Jindal: 3%

Margin of Error: +/- 3 points (+/- 6 points among Republicans)
Sample: 900 registered voters (274 Republicans)
Conducted: May 12-13, 2009

I'll skip the analysis and leave it at this: This is the only primary poll thus far that does not have Palin clustered at the top with Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee; well above everyone else. [And yes, how quaint. Mark Sanford was included -- pre-Argentina.]

Sadly, with Giuliani and Sanford now tacked onto the list of candidates, the key took up too much room and the color scheme Google Docs provided was repetitive and confusing. In sum, that was not really a workable order. The key is now gone from the figure and the names are added nearby the lines or points they correspond to. Most of the color issues were moot once I withheld the "other" line. It matched nearly identically the color given to Jindal's data. The other change is that I've added in the element of time. Everyday is accounted for in the series now so that it doesn't appear as if each poll is equidistant from the next.

Here's the trend updated through today:

[Click to Enlarge]

[If you find anything about the above graph confusing still, please let me know in the comments section.]


Before I close, I did want to mention one other issue with this FOX poll and the poll ABC and the Washington Post released this morning. In each case, we are talking about a 2012 primary question that is based on the responses of less than 300 Republicans (and/or Republican-leaning independents) nationally. When the goal is 1000, less than 300 respondents has the effect of REALLY ramping up the margin of error. In the process, the representativeness of the poll is made all the more questionable for something that is already well in advance of primary season (or even the competitive tail end of the invisible primary for that matter). As I've said recently, I like seeing these numbers and I enjoy seeing the trends, but these things absolutely have to be taken with a grain of salt. And occasionally I like to fold in some discussion of fundraising or organization, but I try to avoid claims like these at all costs. To assert that Huckabee leads this race or that it is beneficial for Romney to "draft" behind Huckabee is patently ridiculous. Given the margins in the polls conducted so far, Romney and Huckabee are tied (with Sarah Palin). Now, it could be that the perception that Huckabee is ahead is helpful to Romney in that "everyone else" is gunning for the former Arkansas governor and not Romney, but still. Let's just watch these numbers come in and not over-interpret them.


Recent Posts:
Presidential Primary Reform Week: The National Association of Secretaries of State's New President

ABC/WaPo Poll: 2012 GOP Primary--Huckabee Back on Top, but...

Presidential Primary Reform Week: The Fair and Representative Presidential Primaries Act of 2009

ABC/WaPo Poll: 2012 GOP Primary--Huckabee Back on Top, but...

ABC News and Washington Post have a new poll out that the blogosphere is jumping on to trumpet the decline of Sarah Palin's favorability. Yeah, FHQ won't be jumping on that bandwagon, but we will discuss the 2012 Republican primary question that was nestled deep in the results. [For the record, the Palin numbers reflect opinion of her among folks of all partisan stripes. The Republican ones are the only ones that really matter at the moment.] Yes, the usual cast of characters are represented,* but I like the fact that the names of prospective GOP candidates whose names were volunteered (not on the list of candidates named) were included in the results as well. Among that group -- which included Charlie Crist, Bobby Jindal, John Thune and other -- Jindal did the best, pulling in about 2% among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents. Both Crist and Thune garnered less than a percentage point each.

Here are the results:

Huckabee: 26%
Romney: 21%
Palin: 19%
Gingrich: 10%
Pawlenty: 4%
Bush: 3%
Jindal: 2%
Barbour: 1%
Thune: less than 1%
Crist: less than 0.5%

Margin of error: +/- 3.5 points
Sample: 1001 adults
approx. 292 Republicans and Republican-leaning independents
Conducted: July 15-18, 2009

[Click to Enlarge]

First of all, this figure is getting a touch messy with the inclusion of Thune and Crist. Even still, the same pattern we've seen in these polls reemerges here: the Huckabee/Palin/Romney trio continue to be clustered relatively close together, outpacing all other possible candidates. [And it should be noted that that pattern surfaces with just 292 GOP/GOP-leaning respondents nationally. So take this poll with an extra grain of salt -- this question at least. The margin of error among that portion of the sample is likely pretty high.] It just so happens that the former Arkansas governor is getting another turn at the top.

I wouldn't read too much into Huckabee's showing (or anyone else for that matter), but I will take the opportunity to say that if last year's delegate runner-up for the GOP nomination is serious about a repeat bid in 2012, he is going to have to get a move on. From a polling perspective, he's fine, but financially he's quickly falling off the pace being set by his leading counterparts' political action committees. Both Romney's Free and Strong America PAC and Palin's SarahPAC are doing quite well in the first half of 2009. Huckabee, on the other hand, has yet to report any numbers for his Huck PAC, and that fact in conjunction with the news that the PAC is undergoing some restructuring, is a troubling start.

Again, this is all extremely early. As John McCain demonstrated during the 2008 cycle, campaign restructuring and dire financial straits aren't necessarily dealbreakers. However, 2012 won't be 2008 for the Republicans. They are facing an incumbent Democrat in the White House and will likely be looking for someone who has some gravitas among the elites within the party and an ability to raise funds and lots of them. Romney meets both those criteria the best at the moment. Palin lacks the internal party connections and Huckabee trails on both fronts.

The main question now is whether 2012 will be like 1996 or 2000 for the Republican Party. Will they have a fairly active primary campaign like in 1996 or will most of the party quickly coalesce around a candidate as in 2000? Part of the problem of assessing that question is that we have reached something of a crossroads on the divisive primaries/parties question. The pre-2008 thinking was that the quicker you line up behind someone (thus avoiding drawn-out divisiveness), the better your chances are in the general election. Post-2008, though, the thinking is slightly different. Can a drawn-out, yet not personally divisive nomination battle actually help a parties nominee from an organizational standpoint? Obama's narrow electoral college wins in Indiana and North Carolina are often cited as evidence that the primary campaign organization helped in the general election.

My (two and a half years in advance) guess is that the GOP may pay some lip service to the organizational idea, but will ultimately make a quick decision on the 2012 nomination. And I should note that I've been talking about this as if the party has complete control over this. They don't. Conditions have a large say in the matter. Democratic primary and caucus voters were evenly divided in 2008, but Republican voters may not follow suit in 2012. That potential is there (Palin grassroots vs. Romney establishment, for example), but, as I said, I think it is more likely that a consensus forms around one candidate. If the GOP elite signal in a way similar to 2000 with Bush, that they are solidly behind one candidate, then it will be difficult for anyone to disrupt the inevitability story.

All that from a poll of 292 Republicans and independents leaning Republican? Yeah, I know.

*The list of candidates included Haley Barbour, Jeb Bush, Newt Gingrich, Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin, Tim Pawlenty and Mitt Romney.

Recent Posts:
Presidential Primary Reform Week: The Fair and Representative Presidential Primaries Act of 2009

Presidential Primary Reform Week: Congressional Action

Louisiana 2012: Jindal/Palin Both Top Obama

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Romney Leads 2012 GOP Race (...and in more than just the Gallup Poll)

FHQ has been in the habit of calling Mitt Romney the frontrunner for the 2012 Republican nomination despite polls conducted earlier in the year that have shown him trailing Mike Huckabee and/or Sarah Palin. That trend has also held in hypothetical general election match ups against President Obama. July, though, has been good to Mitt Romney. Perhaps it is due to poll respondents just coming around to the idea of Romney as a likable (and likable may not be the proper word) 2012 candidate or because all the commotion among other GOP prospects for 2012 (see Ensign, John and Sanford, Mark). That probably isn't an either/or proposition. Respondents likely look on Romney more favorably now simply because of what is going on among the other possibilities. Comparatively, the former Massachusetts governor looks quite good.

And though the favorable/unfavorable differential for Romney still trails both Palin and Huckabee among Republicans, the next-in-line guy for the GOP leads the pack in Gallup's look forward to the race for the Party of Lincoln's nomination. Here are the particulars:

And I'm assuming that the remaining 15% either did not have an opinion or named other candidates (who received 1% or less).

These results dovetail nicely with the similar Rasmussen results from last week. Romney leads but is clustered with Palin and Huckabee ahead of Newt Gingrich and well ahead of other prospective challengers with less name recognition (at this point). And though those top three have taken turns in the top spot, they have, as a group, consistently hovered above everyone else with only Gingrich coming close. Here's how the trend looks across the limited polling conducted thus far in 2009:

[Click to Enlarge]

But polling isn't really the full story. It never is. The Cohen, et al. (2008) book I've referenced several times in this space would have us look at fundraising totals and endorsements as well. As we're still in 2009, information on the latter is going to be hard to come by, so let's focus on the fundraising aspect, but more generally the financial activity of the top three's political action committees. With disclosure reports due to the Federal Elections Commission recently, a host of up-to-date data have been made public. Just this morning Chris Cillizza at The Fix examined not only how much Romney's Free and Strong America PAC had raised during the first five months of the year (the most recently filed report for Romney only covers January-May 2009), but also to whom the PAC was contributing. Here's Cillizza:
"Romney Fundraising Soars: Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney proved he is light years in front of his 2012 rivals in the fundraising game by collecting more than $1.6 million through his Free and Strong America PAC in the first six months of 2009, and spreading donations out to a variety of candidates and causes in critical states. Romney donated the maximum $6,800 to New Jersey Republican gubernatorial nominee and made a series of $5,000 donations to Bob McDonnell, Bill Bolling and Ken Cuccinelli who are running for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general in Virginia this fall. Romney also directed contributions to key 2012 states; he donated $5,000 to South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint and used his affiliated state PAC to give $10,000 to the New Hampshire Republican Party and $1,000 to Jeb Bradley, a former congressman who won a New Hampshire state Senate special election earlier this year. A dozen Republican members of the House received $1,000 contributions from Free and Strong America including Minority Whip Eric Cantor (Va.) and National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (Texas). Romney ended June with $842,000 in the bank. The depth of Romney's fundraising coupled with the strategic smarts with which he doled the money out is evidence that he has never really stopped running for president following his primary loss to John McCain in 2008."
The formula, then, is not unlike Barack Obama's following the 2004 elections: raise money for and get involved in high profile races and strategically contribute to candidates in crucial (presidential) electoral locations. As the numbers indicate, Mitt Romney has had more of an opportunity to do this than the other two candidates he has been lumped in with in the early going of the 2012 cycle. Romney's Free and Strong America PAC has pulled in $1.6 million to Palin's SarahPAC's $733,000 to Huckabee's Huck PAC's $0 (Follow the links to the PAC's pages at OpenSecrets or the FEC.). [Note that the scales on the vertical axis in the figures below are different. Romney's bars may come in under where Huckabee's and Palin's are, but there's a more than 3:1 difference in those scales.]

[Click to Enlarge]

I actually saw Romney's financial numbers this morning before the Gallup poll and it got me thinking about the state of Huckabee's operation as well. Ed Kilgore, in tearing down what he called the Next-In-Line Myth, stated (I'm paraphrasing here) that if the measure of that status is the number of delegates won in a previous nomination cycle, then Huckabee has as much right to the next-in-line label as Romney. And that statement was in the back of my mind when I looked up Huckabee's (lack of a) haul during the first half of the year. What separates Romney from Huckabee and Palin is not polling (not at this point at least), but the money war and organization. In both regards, Romney has a pretty good head start over is competitors, making Cillizza's last statement above instructive.

The take home message here is that Romney is leading where it counts now -- fundraising -- and is angling for a solidification of the second part of the Cohen, et al. puzzle: endorsements. The former presidential candidate's ability to raise money allows him the relative luxury of contributing to the campaigns and PACs of leaders within the party and GOP candidates in close races for reelection. That sort of giving comes in handy when the invisible primary nears completion and endorsements are at a premium with Iowa and New Hampshire around the corner.

Recent Posts:
Revisiting Democratic Delegate Allocation (1976-2008)

On the Polling Horizon: Louisiana 2012?

State of the Race: Virginia (7/15/09)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

2012 GOP Primary Polling (July 2009 -- Rasmussen)

Is Palin in? Is she out?

That's been what everyone has been trying to hash out over these last few days since the former VP nominee's resignation announcement Friday. Regardless of the answer, though, Palin remains among the top tier of candidates in Rasmussen's first poll of the 2012 Republican presidential primary race (a poll conducted after the announcement). The soon to be former Alaska governor continues to poll nearly evenly with both Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee and as a trio they consistently run about ten points ahead of former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich and well ahead of the other potential challengers.

Between the two early CNN polls on the race (here and here) and the newly released Rasmussen poll, there is a fairly clear picture of where things stand. There is a top tier of candidates that has been solidified -- whether they enter or not -- and an as of yet undetermined group of secondary candidates. And those options haven't significantly changed since last November's election. Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee had their hats thrown in the race by virtue of their showings in the 2008 Republican primaries. Similarly, Sarah Palin being tapped as the 2008 presidential ticket number two and Gingrich's continued outspoken manner kept the two of them toward the front of the 2012 presidential queue.

[Click to Enlarge]

Those four options have been there, but the darkhorse options behind them have emerged and faded very quickly for still being three years away from the next round of primaries and caucuses. By this point, it is a bit redundant to recount the stories of Jon Huntsman, John Ensign or Mark Sanford, but it is the candidates of that ilk who will likely fill out the primary field in just two short years. This time around, Tim Pawlenty and Haley Barbour are the secondary candidates included in the poll. And as has been the case in the CNN polls (with Bobby Jindal and Jeb Bush ), the candidates outside of the foursome mentioned above lag well behind. However, among likely Republican primary voters, it is this group of candidates that still has the most to gain. Opinion has largely solidified around Palin, Romney, Huckabee and Gingrich and it is overwhelmingly positive (favorability to unfavorability ratio) as one might expect for well-known, prospective candidates among Republican voters.

[Click to Enlarge]

And while the "not sures" are well into the single digits for that quartet in the Rasmussen poll, over a quarter of respondents are still unsure about both Pawlenty and Barbour. In other words, there is still a significant faction of likely Republican primary voters who have yet to fully weigh in on those secondary candidates. And there is still plenty of time for each to grow his or her support, but the second tier candidates have the most wiggle room and can yet make it up to the top tier.

Time will tell...

Recent Posts:
And Another Thing About Those Winner-Take-All Primaries

Happy July 4th! No More 'Politics as Usual' Palin Edition

State of the Race: New Jersey (7/1/09)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Is a Week Old New? 2012 GOP Primary Poll

FHQ is late on this -- about a week late -- but we find it necessary to keep a log of 2012 polls even if it means a delay.

CNN released a second poll on the 2012 GOP primary race; an update from February.

Pollster: CNN/Opinion Research
Date: 5/14-17/2009
Sample: 1010 adults (nationwide phone survey)
Margin of error: +/-4.5 points
Huckabee -- 22%
Palin -- 21%
Romney -- 21%
Gingrich -- 13%
Other -- 10%
Jeb Bush -- 6%

Not included: Bobby Jindal (in February -- 9%)

This isn't exciting because there aren't many polls, but like the trial heats PPP is doing with Obama, I feel compelled to create a visual for this:
Palin and Huckabee slip some from February, but both are still very much clustered together with Mitt Romney atop the pack still. Much of that could be attributable to Gingrich's inclusion in the second poll. The former Speaker pulled in 13% while Palin and Huckabee lost 12% combined. That conclusion, though, is a leap of faith to some degree. What's interesting is that 10% of Republicans are still planning on supporting "somone else," a result that didn't change with Jindal being dropped and Bush and Gingrich being added. I wonder if that is Ron Paul? Some of it likely is.

But all of this is silly. The 2012 campaign hasn't started yet.

...or has it.

Hat tip: GOP12, which wasn't late with poll commentary on this one.

Recent Posts:
Virginia is for Voters

The Calm After the... Well, It Wasn't a Storm.

Past is Prologue? The New Jersey Governor's Race

Friday, February 27, 2009

Like a Kid in a Candy Store: A 2012 GOP Presidential Preference Poll

From CNN/Opinion Research Corporation:

Palin: 29%
Huckabee: 26%
Romney: 21%
Jindal: 9%

Sample: 429 Republicans (nationally)
MoE: 4.5%
Conducted Wednesday and Thursday of last week (2/18-19)

A couple of thoughts:
1) Palin, Huckabee and Romney are basically tied and Jindal is simply suffering from a lack of name recognition nationally at this point. The poll was done prior to his appearance on Meet the Press last weekend and before his response to Obama's speech to Congress this week. Poor performance or not, I suspect the Louisiana governor would have made it into the low to mid-double digits if the poll had been conducted this week.

2) If these are the candidates, I have to say that this bodes well for Mitt Romney. With Iowa and South Carolina having such conservative Republicans, there's the potential that Huckabee and Palin split the conservative vote (Huckabee's 2008 organization vs. Palin's appeal) and open the door for Romney. The former Massachusetts governor finished second to John McCain in New Hampshire and won the Nevada caucuses in 2008. Granted this is all predicated on both the idea that the calendar remains pretty much the same as it was in 2008 and that Jindal never gets off the ground in his efforts. Neither of those are sure things this far out.

Plus, as Pollster points out: at a similar point four years ago Hillary Clinton led John Kerry 40% - 25% with John Edwards at 18%. Barack Obama? He wasn't included. And we see how that worked out.

Recent Posts:
2012 Primary Reform: Previous General Election Margin as a Means of Setting the Calendar

If You Were Indiana, What Would You Do in 2012? A View from Similar States

Indiana and 2012