Showing posts with label Pawlenty. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pawlenty. Show all posts

Friday, June 3, 2011

The 2012 Candidates (6/3/11)

Candidacy announcements: Cain, Pawlenty, Romney
Out: Daniels, Trump
New classifications: "latest denials"1, "reconsidering"

Barack Obama (announced: 4/4/11)

Michelle Bachmann
Haley Barbour (4/25/11)
John Bolton
Jeb Bush (latest denial: 5/23/11)
Herman Cain (exploratory: 1/12/11) (candidacy: 5/21/11)
Chris Christie (latest denial: 6/1/11)
Mitch Daniels (5/22/11)
Jim DeMint (latest denials: 3/24/11, 6/1/11)
Newt Gingrich (exploratory: 3/4/11) (candidacy: 5/11/11)
Rudy Giuliani
Mike Huckabee (5/14/11)
Jon Huntsman
Bobby Jindal (12/8/10)
Gary Johnson (candidacy: 4/21/11)
Roy Moore (exploratory: 4/18/11)
Sarah Palin
George Pataki (4/20/11)
Ron Paul (exploratory: 4/14/11) (candidacy: 5/13/11)
Tim Pawlenty (exploratory: 3/21/11) (candidacy: 5/23/11)
Mike Pence (1/27/11)
Rick Perry (latest denials: 4/15/11, 5/20/11) (reconsidering: 5/25/11)
Buddy Roemer (exploratory: 3/3/11)
Mitt Romney (exploratory: 4/11/11) (candidacy: 6/2/11)
Rick Santorum (exploratory 4/13/11)
John Thune (2/22/11)
Donald Trump (5/16/11)

1 This classification has been added for prospective candidates who have been repeatedly asked and denied and intention to run for president (ie: Christie, Bush). Prospective candidates who have issued definitive answers but about whom rumors have forced more recent denials are also included in this categorization (ie: DeMint).

Friday, May 27, 2011

Rank and File Passion vs. Establishment Support: Cain vs. Pawlenty

Like everyone following these sorts of things, FHQ, too, saw the Gallup numbers on the 2012 Republican nomination yesterday. Sadly, we've been so caught up in the weeds of the formation of the 2012 presidential primary calendar that we've nary had time to examine some if any of the polling that has come out recently -- much less for 2011. Our usual line on this polling is that we like the information, but we're hard-pressed to see a way in which it matters very much relative to the outcome of the nomination (or the general election for that matter). But I, like Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight, was drawn more toward the Herman Cain's standing than the much-ballyhooed Palin numbers. But Silver's post and an earlier Jonathan Bernstein post on Palin kept knocking around in my head.

Look, the party decides these things -- more often than not. At the very least, the party filters the decision before it gets to the rank and file members voting in presidential primaries and caucuses. We are at the point in this cycle where we are beginning to get a feel for this among other things. Once again, we are learning that there are passionate voices out there; passionate voices among some faction of the rank and file that are lining up behind various candidates. But as Bernstein points out, the winner of either party's nomination is not a factional candidate, but one who can build a coalition. And this in a nutshell is the party establishment versus the mass public withint that party. The former is interested in the coalition builder with the general election in mind while the latter can be or is primarily focused on someone who reflects them. Sometimes those interests overlap (see Bush 2000), but sometimes they do not (see McCain 2008).

2012 is shaping up more like 2008 than 2000 from the vantage point of May 2011. In other words, there are competing interests between the party elite and the rank and file. And given the discontent with the idea of Romney as a frontrunner within some Republican circles, the argument could be made that there are competing interests within the Republican Party establishment as well.

That said, FHQ is partial to the Romney and anti-Romney narrative that has been making the rounds these last few months; that the race for the Republican nomination will come down to Romney and someone else. But I don't think that's Herman Cain. I'm more apt to side with Tim Pawlenty despite the fact that Cain edge the former Minnesota governor out in this latest Gallup poll.


Passion vs. Establishment.

Herman Cain has something of a passionate following, but Pawlenty has a higher ceiling in terms of attaining the status of anti-Romney and better yet, coalition builder. How can we best assess this, though? Nothing, and I mean nothing, picks up on hollow passion behind a candidacy better than Google Trends. And if you follow the isolated 2007 search trends of the top GOP candidates for the 2008 nomination, you'll see that an argument can be made that the tool also picks up on hollow poll leaders as well (see that Giuliani line -- in green). What do we really see in those numbers? Well, you see McCain trail off across 2007, Fred Thompson searches spike over the summer, and Huckabee and Romney gaining as Iowa approaches. If you look closely enough you'll also see McCain on the rise right before the new year, but also Ron Paul searches rocketing upward.

[Click to Enlarge]

Rick Perry could be the new Fred Thompson, but I think Herman Cain finds some territory somewhere between what Thompson was and that passionate Ron Paul faction. In between, mind you, but closer to Paul. The search trends thus far kind of bear this out. The establishment, coalition-building candidates are laying low while the passion builds behind factional candidates. If you look at the trends graphic above you can see that Romney and Pawlenty are in that low-lying area while candidates like Cain and Paul and even the uproar around Gingrich finds much bigger swings -- much bigger spikes. Yes, Pawlenty got something out of his announcement on Monday and if you back the trendline up, Romney's exploratory committee announcement elicited a similar bump for the former Massachusetts governor. But note that both are more modest than the factional candidate jumps (and their average position overall).

No, this isn't a definitive examination on the state of the race for the Republican nomination, but it does give us a glimpse into the position of these two types of candidates and a comparison to 2008. Does Cain have a chance? Sure. That case is easier to make than the case that he has absolutely zero chance of winning. But Cain is nothing more than a factional candidate, and even if you argue that he isn't, he is not as solid a coalition-building candidate as some of the alternatives; namely Pawlenty.

NOTE: Incidentally, if you want to mess around with the various five candidate combinations on the 2012 GOP Candidate Emergence Tracker, you can do so here. Just click on "edit" in blue and change the search parameters. [Yes, Mitch Daniels will be removed as a default option soon enough. Also, I can't wait to see what kind of bump Palin gets out of this bus tour announcement.]

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Links (4/20/11): Miscellany

Newt's staffing up in Iowa.

Sorry Roy Moore. You're getting the Buddy Roemer treatment (No separate 2012 Candidates post). For the record, as of April 18, the former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice formed an exploratory committee. For president.

Chris Christie may want to move the New Jersey primary to June, and there may be a few bills that have been introduced in the legislature, but the guy behind the 2007 move to February isn't high on the idea.

Florida may cast a shadow over the 2012 Republican nomination race, but it isn't "just like in 2008."

The Economist has their obligatory primary calendar examination up. [Yes, FHQ is just vain enough to mention that.]

Monday, March 21, 2011

The 2012 Candidates: Pawlenty's In (...exploring mode)

Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty took the first formal step toward a run for the Republican presidential nomination next year by announcing the formation of an exploratory committee today. Pawlenty's nascent team has put together a series summer blockbuster trailer-like ads over the last year or so, but the former governor is going to have to find a way to use that and other means of making himself known to potential Republican primary voters.

Four Republicans have now formed exploratory committees. The list:
Michelle Bachmann
Haley Barbour
John Bolton
Jeb Bush
Herman Cain (exploratory: 1/12/11)
Chris Christie
Mitch Daniels
Jim DeMint
Newt Gingrich (exploratory: 3/4/11)
Rudy Giuliani
Mike Huckabee
Jon Huntsman
Bobby Jindal
Gary Johnson
Sarah Palin
George Pataki
Ron Paul
Tim Pawlenty (exploratory: 3/21/11)
Mike Pence (1/27/11)
Rick Perry
Buddy Roemer (exploratory: 3/3/11)
Mitt Romney
Rick Santorum
John Thune (2/22/11)

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Obama v. Pawlenty (2012 Trial Heats, July '10)

[Click to Enlarge]

The next series of updates are for candidates with only three polls (or less) conducted in hypothetical 2012 general election match ups against President Obama. As such, the trend analyses for Tim Pawlenty, Ron Paul and Jeb Bush are more susceptible to wild fluctuations given the relatively scant level of data available compared to the four candidates (Gingrich, Huckabee, Palin and Romney) covered thus far. These are clearly cases where other variables -- presidential approval and state of the economy -- may be helpful in balancing out polls like the Politico internet poll. In the midst of many other polls, that survey merely appears as an outlier. It is still an outlier for a candidate with just a few polls against Obama, but in such a case, it serves as a distinct statistical anchor. In such cases, the straight average "feels" more trustworthy for the three candidates with more than one survey conducted against Obama.

That is true for Tim Pawlenty. The Politico survey underestimates both Obama's and Pawlenty's shares of poll respondents given the other data available. It is difficult to fathom, for instance, either Obama below 40% support or Pawlenty, despite a lack of national name recognition, mustering just more than 20% support. Now, to be completely honest, a simple average is just as susceptible to outliers, but the numbers for Obama are much closer to the range in which they lie against the Big Four prospective Republican candidates. Similarly, Pawlenty's numbers, while still low, are at least closer the level of support an unknown, yet named, Republican candidate.

More than anything, this may have been what spurred Pawlenty and his inner circle to produce and release the video FHQ mentioned on Thursday. The timing was a bit abnormal, but the intent is clear, despite nary a mention of a presidential race or 2012. And hopefully, it will serve as an impetus for other polling outlets to include Pawlenty in future surveys. Political junkies thinking of 2012 can hope so at least. Trips to Iowa certainly aren't hurting those chances either.

2012 Presidential Trial Heat Polling (Obama v. Pawlenty)
Margin of Error
Politico [Internet]
July 9-14, 2010
+/- 3.1%
1011 likely voters
Public Policy Polling
Dec. 4-7, 2009
+/- 2.8%
1253 likely voters
Public Policy Polling
Oct. 16-19, 2009
+/- 3.5%
766 likely voters

Regression Average


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Thursday, July 29, 2010

And they're off!!! Next Stop 2012.

FHQ has often said of the 2012 Republican presidential nomination aspirants that they are running for 2012, but have simultaneously wondered if some or all would actually be running in 2012. Well, Tim Pawlenty has turned whispers and political junkie wonderings into an overt running for 2012 with his new Freedom First PAC video.

We often talk around these parts about the frontloading of presidential primaries and caucuses, but the candidates do it too. I can't think of anything happening earlier in a given presidential cycle since Michigan and Arizona held first step caucuses in 1986 with 1988's GOP nomination in mind. This pre-dates even those moves. Look, neither Pawlenty nor the video say anything about 2012. However, this is an introduction. This is an action taken with something higher than merely fundraising for congressional and gubernatorial candidates as impetus. Normally, I'd shrug something like this off; especially given that it is happening during the usually (media) dead months of summer. This is the time of Gary Condit and shark attacks, not subtle presidential introductions. Yet, this is clever. It has been timed to make a splash but to do so so as to not overlap with the most intense part of the midterm election campaign. It is also timed to get someone who had less name recognition than the balloon boy to get his name out there before an actual announcement that could get lost amongst the bigger names early next year when the expected announcements will likely come.

There's a long way to go until 2012, and this may all be for naught. At the very least, though, it has given those of us who follow such things, something to talk about.

Speaking of Pawlenty, FHQ will have a 2012 trial heat poll update for him later.

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

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.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Public Policy Polling: December 2009 Presidential Trial Heats In Depth

You can find the archive of all the 2012 trial heat polls here.

In a month when President Obama slipped into the 40s against each Republican polled against him in a hypothetical 2012 general election match up (via Public Policy Polling [pdf]), things obviously were not looking that good across the board. In an overall sense, we quickly get a feel for that tightening simply by looking at the trendlines for each of the prospective Republican presidential aspirants (There's now even a trendline for Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty -- see below and in the left sidebar).

[Click to Enlarge]

Obama: 46%
Huckabee: 45%
Undecided: 9%

[Click to Enlarge]

Obama: 50%
Palin: 44%
Undecided: 6%

[Click to Enlarge]

Obama: 48%
Pawlenty: 35%
Undecided: 17%

[Click to Enlarge]

Obama: 47%
Romney: 42%
Undecided: 12%

Margin of Error: +/- 2.8%
Sample: 1253 registered voters (nationwide)
Conducted: December 4-7, 2009

There isn't really much to the poll other than to say that overall, things are much closer than they were, say, at the beginning of PPP's process of looking at the the 2012 back in March (Palin) and April (Gingrich, Huckabee, Romney added). And that largely tracks with the president's approval numbers throughout the year. FHQ would be remiss, though, if we didn't at least bring up a few nuggets from the internals of the poll.

On the 2008 presidential vote:
  • Huckabee does the best of any of the Republican candidates at pulling together the most McCain voters (85%) and minimizing the number of repeat Obama voters (89%). The former Arkansas governor was the only Republican to keep Obama's support among his former voters below 90%.

On ideology:
  • President Obama is still approaching 90% approval among liberals and is right at two-thirds approval among moderates. Not surprisingly, the president is taking the biggest hit among self-described conservatives (only 15% approve).
  • Sarah Palin is the most favorable candidate to conservatives, but both she and Mike Huckabee garner 79% support from the group against the president.

On age:
  • Obama consistently loses the 65+ set and essentially breaks even (to slightly loses) the 46-65 demographic to all the Republicans polled. However, the president is well above 50% with everyone under 45.

On race:
  • Palin is the most favorable Republican among Hispanic respondents, but only reaches 37% favorability. The president continues to hold over 90% support among registered African American voters and about two-thirds of Hispanic voters against all four Republicans.

On gender:
  • Men still prefer Republicans and women Obama, but this is noteworthy because it is the first time Sarah Palin has led the president among men (48-45) in a PPP survey.

On region:
  • The quirk is gone ( December at least). Obama didn't sweep the South as he has on several other occasions in these PPP polls. Instead, the president was swept in the region where the Republican Party found its base in the 2008 presidential election. More troubling to Obama from an electoral standpoint is that the president was swept by all four Republicans in the midwest. The president was able to make inroads in the peripheral South in 2008 and can potentially afford to jettison states like Virginia and North Carolina in 2012. But if Michigan and Indiana and Ohio begin to creep into the mix in terms of competitiveness, things could get interesting in the fall of 2012. Much of that will depend on the state of the economy, though.
What will January and a new year bring? Stay tuned.

Recent Posts:
The Links (12/10/09)

PPP: 2012 Presidential Trial Heats (Dec. '09): Huckabee within 1 Point of Obama

Democrats and Republicans Unified on a March Primary Start? All Signs Point Toward Yes

Thursday, December 10, 2009

PPP: 2012 Presidential Trial Heats (Dec. '09): Huckabee within 1 Point of Obama

Public Policy Polling [pdf] today released their monthly look at the 2012 presidential playing field. Here's a quick look a the toplines (I'll be back later with a full analysis and updated figures.*):

Obama: 46%
Huckabee: 45%
Undecided: 9%

Obama: 50%
Palin: 44%
Undecided: 6%

Obama: 48%
Pawlenty: 35%
Undecided: 17%

Obama: 47%
Romney: 42%
Undecided: 12%

Margin of Error: +/- 2.8%
Sample: 1253 registered voters (nationwide)
Conducted: December 4-7, 2009

Quick notes:
1) Palin is ahead of Obama among men (a first).
2) Obama didn't sweep the South this month. Every GOP candidate was ahead of the president in the region most loyal to the GOP and the midwest isn't looking too good either.
3) Huckabee was the only Republican to break even in terms of favorability/unfavorability. The other three Republicans had higher unfavorables.
4) Palin still has yet to bring Obama under the 50% mark in these PPP polls.

*Two polls now for Pawlenty (v. Obama) means we have a new trendline to add to the sidebar.

Recent Posts:
Democrats and Republicans Unified on a March Primary Start? All Signs Point Toward Yes

Coakley, Brown Win Parties' Nods in MA Senate Specials

Huckabee's Favorability in the Post-Commutation Environment

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

St. Cloud St. Poll: Obama leads Pawlenty in 2012 Horserace in MN

Back in July Public Policy Polling conducted a survey in Minnesota and threw in a 2012 trial heat question pitting President Obama against both Tim Pawlenty and Sarah Palin. The result? Obama led both, but Pawlenty did the better of the two Republicans in his home state. Obama led the current Minnesota governor 51-40 then.

Well, St. Cloud St. University today released the results of a similar trial heat poll (No, Palin wasn't included. I know, and her book was released today, too!). Did Pawlenty make any headway following his ascension to the Vice Chair position within the Republican Governors Association and the formation of his Freedom First PAC; two events associated with his being on the lips of the punditocracy in relation to the 2012 presidential race? Actually, it doesn't seem to have made all that much difference at all.

Obama: 49.0%
Pawlenty: 39.7%
Undecided: 5.6%

Margin of Error: +/- 5%
Sample: 550 adults (Minnesotans)
Conducted: October 26 - November 4, 2009

Across two different polling firms' polls, then, Obama dropped some while Pawlenty held steady around the 40% mark. Looking at the margin, this poll isn't any different than the 54-44 edge Obama had over McCain last November in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

In the cross-tabs, there are some interesting nuggets. Obama leads among every age group save the 35-44 group, where Pawlenty leads by 21 points (55-34). Obama also leads among women (59-31) while trailing among men (49-40). Both candidates(???) have consolidated their bases; each has over 84% among their own partisans. Obama leads among independents (27-17) -- or "those not close to either party."

This certainly isn't a trend so much as a flatline, but still, as always, it is nicer to have the data than not. But the bottom line out of this one echoes what FHQ discussed over the weekend: Pawlenty isn't there yet, but he needs to be active to catch up with those potential 2012ers that have more name recognition nationally than he does.

Hat tip to GOP12 for the link.

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Twenty Ten or Two Thousand Ten?

A Follow Up on Palin and Winner-Take-All Presidential Primaries

How Palin Could Win the 2012 GOP Nomination. Well, it'll take more than just winner-take-all primaries.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Pawlenty: Running for 2012, But Will He Be Running in 2012?

[UPDATE: Ah, here are the Rasmussen numbers on Pawlenty in 2012.]

If the Minnesota governor follows these numbers (or if they stay the same as 2012 approaches), the answer to that will perhaps be no.

PPP's tweeting about them, Pollster is reporting them, but Rasmussen isn't sharing them. Apparently, somewhere behind the pay wall, Rasmussen is showing in its latest survey of Minnesota that Governor Tim Pawlenty would only have the votes of 42% of Minnesotans if he were to run for president and win the Republican nomination in 2012. 46% would not vote for him. No, that's not necessarily a vote for Obama because the president's name was not used in the question, but it does provide a sense of just how blue Minnesota is.

Here's the question:
Suppose Governor Tim Pawlenty runs for President in 2012 and wins the Republican nomination. If Pawlenty was the Republican Presidential candidate, would you vote for him?
Yes 42%
No 46%
This isn't a true trial heat, but it would have been interesting to have seen how the answers to the two questions (the one above and a head-to-head with Obama) would have differed. My hunch is that the difference would have been similar to the difference between polling an incumbent (for any office) against both an actual named opponent or a generic, unnamed one. Look, for instance, at Sen. Burr's numbers in the latest Public Policy Polling survey of the 2010 race for Senate in North Carolina. Burr performs better against named opposition than against Generic Democrat X and I would assume that Pawlenty's numbers above would decrease if we were talking about a ballot question pitting the Minnesota governor against President Obama.

That said, these numbers aren't all that bad. Sure, Tim Pawlenty has the name recognition in his home state that he lacks elsewhere, but in a state where Obama is still garnering higher approval than disapproval numbers -- though that margin has shrunk -- I wouldn't rank this as an awful showing for the governor.

What we're really missing here is a time trend. Rasmussen keeps asking different questions about Pawlenty in regards to the 2012 presidential race in these Minnesota polls. In March, we got this:
Should Tim Pawlenty run for President in 2012?

22% Yes
61% No
17% Not sure
And in May, Rasmussen asked something slightly different:
How likely is it that Governor Pawlenty will run for President?

17% Very likely
42% Somewhat likely
24% Not very likely
5% Not at all likely
11% Not sure
Fine, how likely is it that Governor Pawlenty will win the Republican Presidential nomination in 2012?

7% Very likely
30% Somewhat likely
39% Not very likely
16% Not at all likely
8% Not sure
No, those aren't flattering numbers for someone in their own state, but this is exactly the reason Pawlenty is making the moves he is in relation to 2012 (starting a PAC, traveling the nation, raising money, etc.). Put simply, he is at a disadvantage relative to the other prospective Republican candidates (Huckabee, Palin and Romney).

Recent Posts:
FHQ Friday Fun: You Can't Beat Louisiana Politics

A Late Start for New Hampshire 2012: Pawlenty will be the First

Do Even "Fairly" Drawn Congressional Districts Favor Republicans?

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.

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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

Sunday, October 25, 2009

New 2012 Presidential General Election Trendlines. Now Time Adjusted!

I think we've gotten to a point where we have had enough 2012 trial heat polls out thus far this year to warrant adjusting them for time. To this point FHQ has displayed the polls as if they were equidistant apart, but with Palin v. Obama topping double figures from a number of polls standpoint, the time has come for the figures to take on a more natural look. Below you'll find the trends for...

Newt Gingrich...
[Click to Enlarge]

Mike Huckabee...
[Click to Enlarge]

Sarah Palin...
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and Mitt Romney.
[Click to Enlarge]

Recent Posts:
More Notes on Yesterday's Democratic Change Commission Meeting

Democratic Change Commission Meeting #2: Timing

Gender Gap or Gender Deficit in 2012?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Gender Gap or Gender Deficit in 2012?

For the last few months FHQ has been pointing to an interesting trend in the (admittedly very) early presidential general election trial heats for 2012.* Sarah Palin is faring worse or worst among women against Obama than are her male counterparts (among the small list of prospective Republicans who have been polled against Obama with 2012 in mind). This is curious. There have been pronounced gender differences in vote choice that has varied since around the 1980 election.

More often than not this appears in the form of women supporting Democratic candidates while male votes opt for the Republican alternatives. That partisan angle has certainly been debated within the political science literature, though. Chaney, Alvarez and Nagler (1998--gated), for instance, found evidence that this was not solely a partisan divide but an incumbent/anti-incumbent divide with women being more likely to vote against an incumbent. But we certainly hear more about the fluctuations from presidential election to presidential election in partisan terms: how the gap was lower in 2004 because of so-called "security moms"** and greater again in 2008.

Regardless, the gap puts the Republican Party at something of a disadvantage in some elections more than others. One way the party could hypothetically combat the issue is to run female candidates. Now, we've certainly seen more of this in down-ballot races as opposed to presidential contests. After all, Sarah Palin was just the second woman on a presidential ticket in 2008 and the first Republican. But there's a problem there and McCain campaign manager, Rick Davis, picked up on this. He bemoaned the lack of women running within the party in his comments here at Wake Forest a couple of weeks ago.

Still, the expectation is that if Republicans are able to run women, they'll be able to reduce the, what I'm calling here, total gender deficit*** to some extent (depending upon the gender of their opponent and other state level or national factors). But that hasn't been the case in the 2012 presidential general election polling to date. Sarah Palin has, again, done worse with women against Obama than have her male counterparts.

Let's look at the numbers from the most recent Public Policy Polling survey on the matter (I will at some point in the future aggregate the gender numbers across all the polls where the data is publicly available.). There's clearly a divide between...

[Click to Enlarge]

...and nationally unknown Pawlenty on the one hand...
[Click to Enlarge]

and Huckabee...
[Click to Enlarge]

...and Romney on the the other.
[Click to Enlarge]

We can set Tim Pawlenty to the side for the moment. He just isn't a known quantity at this point in the game and that really affects his numbers among both women and men. 20% of each responded "not sure" when he was polled against Obama. [But who am I to deprive you of a glance at the figure?] So, let's consider Palin against Huckabee and Romney. The real discrepancy between them isn't the support among women, but that Romney and Huckabee are tied or slightly ahead among men, while Palin lags. Palin is in the same ballpark as Romney and Huckabee against Obama among women (They are all within 5 points of each other.), but again, the surprising thing is that she isn't doing MUCH better with that demographic. And while still in the same vicinity of Romney and Huckabee, she is still bringing up the rear with women voters.

Of course, when we consider the gender gap as it is traditionally measured -- the distance between the winning candidate's share of the vote among men and women -- Palin doesn't do all that poorly. In fact, she ties with Mitt Romney for having the lowest gender gap, while Mike Huckabee maintains the largest gap. The former Arkansas governor's gap is largely attributable to the fact that he loses to Obama with women but beats the president with men.

In the end, the difference between Sarah Palin (new vice presidential nominee) 2008 and Sarah Palin (ex-Alaska governor) 2009 among women is the difference between night and day. She has gone from making a huge difference for the McCain campaign with women (again, see Rick Davis' comments) to trailing among the demographic in hypothetical 2012 match ups with her at the top of the ticket.

UPDATE: Jack raises a great point in the comments. These numbers are a bit quirky because the expectation is that the GOP advantage among men would offset the advantage Democrats have with women. Here, though, only Huckabee is ahead among men. What that means is that there is something of a line to be drawn between the traditional gender gap and what I'm calling the total gender gap here. In this case, it should probably be called the total gender deficit. Here's a more traditional gender gap picture from Gallup in February 2008: a classic McCain vs. Clinton/Obama example. Obama and Clinton were relatively similar among women relative to McCain but the difference was in men. The way I'm calculating this deficit would have had Obama at -1 relative to McCain and Clinton at -9. To some extent this assumes that there is near equal parity between male and female voters in the electorate. I'll have to check on that.

*Again, these are (way too) early polls, and we here at FHQ would normally hold off on putting too much stock in them. However, the consistency of this result in poll after poll leads us to believe there is something to it.

**Of course, the security mom explanation was just one of convenience. There was little to no proof that members of that particular group weren't Bush supporters already. That the gender gap was smaller in 2000 and 2004 may indicate that women comprise many of the undecided swing voters that break evenly among the two major party candidates in a close election.

***The total gender deficit is calculated by adding the difference between President Obama and his prospective Republican opponents among men and women. While the traditional gender gap is relatively similar across the field of Republicans (within a range of 4 to 8 points), that doesn't give us an indication of the discrepancy between how much one gender group is offsetting the other between the parties. Looking at the exit polls from the 2008 election Obama won 56% of women to McCain's 43%. Meanwhile the president edged the Arizona senator by one point (49-48) among men. Obama, then, enjoyed a 7 point gender gap and a 14 point total gender deficit.

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PPP's 2012 Presidential General Election Trial Heats In-Depth

Thursday, October 22, 2009

PPP's 2012 Presidential General Election Trial Heats In-Depth

Well, it appears as if the Bush bias from last month's Public Policy Polling survey of the 2012 presidential election has vanished with the former Florida governor excluded from the list of candidates hypothetically pitted against President Obama. Recall that Jeb Bush was the first candidate asked about in that poll and that may have primed respondents to conjure up memories of the not too distant Bush administration (How long will that last?). With Bush out and Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty in, the numbers for the stable list of candidates (Huckabee, Palin and Romney) returned to form -- or at least to levels that existed in the firm's August glimpse at the 2012 field. And you can see that depicted below. Just compare the August numbers the results released a day ago:
Obama: 47
Huckabee: 43
Undecided: 10

[Click to Enlarge]
Obama: 52
Palin: 40
Undecided: 8

[Click to Enlarge]
Obama: 50
Pawlenty: 30
Undecided: 20

[Click to Enlarge]
Obama: 48
Romney: 40
Undecided: 12

[Click to Enlarge]
Polling Firm: Public Policy Polling
Margin or Error: +/- 3.5%
Sample: 766 likely voters (nationally)
Conducted: October 16-19, 2009
Across the board, then, the three regulars improved this month on their performances against Obama in September. Now, whether that has anything to do with Bush being or not being in the survey questionnaire is certainly up for debate. On the surface, though, it looks as if that may have played a role. Obama's standing has changed little in the last month. The president's approval numbers are in basically the same position with the disapproval level has inched up a notch or so. However, that movement hardly seems to account for the closing of the gap between the president and the three prospective Republican nominees.

What else is there in this poll, though? There have been some quirks in these PPP polls throughout 2009. In July, it was Obama sweeping the South and in August it was the underlying education demographics of the sample. But nothing really jumps out at my after a rather cursory glance at the cross-tabs for October. However, there are some interesting trends in there.

First, the gender gap trend is still present. Palin continues to lag behind her male Republican counterparts relative to Obama among women. But for once someone did worse than the former Alaska governor on that front. Tim Pawlenty came in a whopping -37 on the gender gap measure (-24 with women and -13 with men against Obama) whereas Palin registered a -25 point disadvantage. When you compare that to Huckabee (-8) and Romney (-14), there really appears to be a line of demarcation between this group of candidates. In Pawlenty's defense, the Minnesota governor is dealing with being far more unknown to people than the other candidates and that definitely had an impact on his numbers.

There were also some interesting trends across the various age groups. Obama beat every Republican across every age group, but the patterns were noteworthy. The expectation is that the older the respondent, the more likely they would be to support a Republican candidate. That trend holds for Huckabee and Pawlenty, though the gaps are far greater for Pawlenty. That trend doesn't hold for Romney or Palin, though. In both cases, the former governors trail Obama but do better among the youngest group of voters (18-29) and the oldest group of voters (65+) than they do with the middle two age groups (30-45, 46-65) -- the gaps are smaller anyway.

All in all, an interesting poll. We'll have to see what November brings.

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PPP 2012 Presidential Trial Heats: Huckabee's Still Tops

Here's the latest from Public Policy Polling on the 2012 presidential general election trial heats. FHQ will add these as we've got time today. I'm in and out of meetings all day, so the graphs will be up incrementally and the full analysis will follow later.

Obama: 47
Huckabee: 43
Undecided: 10

Obama: 52
Palin: 40
Undecided: 8

Obama: 50
Pawlenty: 30
Undecided: 20

Obama: 48
Romney: 40
Undecided: 12

Polling Firm: Public Policy Polling
Margin or Error: +/- 3.5%
Sample: 766 likely voters
Conducted: October 16-19, 2009

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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The 2012 Presidential Candidates: Pawlenty and Petraeus

Jonathan Bernstein beat me to this, but this is something that I have thought more and more about recently. Why are members of the press and the punditocracy going out of their way to pretend that Tim Pawlenty is not running for president? As Jonathan noted:
"No, actually, it [not seeking a third gubernatorial term, starting a PAC, etc.] does mean he's running for president. It doesn't mean he'll still be running by the time we get to the Ames straw poll, and doesn't mean he'll formally announce a candidacy or wind up contesting primaries and caucuses. For now, though, Pawlenty is running for president, and there's no point in observers keeping to the fictions that candidates must observe (because of political convention, but also because of campaign finance rules)."
Is there anyone out there who thinks Pawlenty is not running for 2012? He may not be running in 2012, but he's aiming for it.

It's funny, John Zaller (UCLA political scientist) was at UGA about 18 months ago for a lecture and discussed the underlying model from The Party Decides. As he and his co-authors developed the model, Mark Warner served as the ideal combination of appeals to the various wings (interests, elites) of the Democratic Party. And it certainly looked in 2005-2006 as if Warner was going to run. He had finished his time as governor in Virginia, he had established a PAC and ventured onto the speaking circuit. Of course, not even six months after that appearance before the Netroots, Warner was out. Was Warner running for 2008? Yes, but he didn't end up running in 2008.

And Pawlenty doesn't even have a Hillary Clinton-type looming as the assumed standard bearer for the party.

And Petraeus?

Well, earlier in the week, The New York Times raised the possibility of a general with a smaller voice in/with a new administration being motivated to run against that administration in 2012. I'll admit that is an interesting theory -- it has definitely been talked about -- but even if his role has been diminished on matters such as Afghanistan, wouldn't there have to be a fundamental shift in the public's focus from domestic to foreign policy issues for the general to be an effective candidate? If Afghanistan deteriorates to the point that it supersedes the economy as the main issue in 2012 (and I suppose it could), then maybe. But what kind of chops does Petraeus have on domestic issues or more importantly economic matters? Is it just me or am I missing something here? Now, he could be a solid candidate, but we know nothing about his stances on things on the home front.

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Saturday, October 3, 2009

Rove on Pawlenty in 2012

There's nothing groundbreaking here, but in a Thursday address to a gathering at St. Olaf's College in Northfield, MN, Karl Rove had a few things to say about Tim Pawlenty in the context of the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.
“Tim’s smart, thoughtful, thinks outside the box. He has a lot of new ideas.” But, he added, that between now and the 2012 presidential primaries, Pawlenty will have to roll up his sleeves and help other Republican candidates get elected if he wants a shot at the White House.
Well, I'd say that's why Freedom First PAC is now up and operational. But we'll have to see how effective it is at collecting and distributing money strategically to candidates around the country. Pawlenty's got some catching up to do given where Romney, Palin and Huckabee are PAC-wise.

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Tracking Pawlenty for 2012

If only we had one of these for each of the prospective Republican presidential candidate in 2012.

Red states indicate personal travel
Green states indicate official (gubernatorial) travel

In our expectations post yesterday, I went on record (There is a record of it until I edit the line out.) saying that Tim Pawlenty is running for president. He's eschewed a third term as governor in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. He's taken on the position of vice chair in the Republican Governors Association and in that capacity has already been traveling the country (see above). He's started his own political action committee (Freedom First -- Side note: Why, oh, why did he not as someone suggested via Twitter yesterday call it T-PAC. The guy does go by TPaw.). All he needs now to make it official is an announcement and a book.

That said I wanted to take a quick glance at the map above and the 2012 primary calendar (neither of which are fully formed at this point) to see if we can glean any patterns. At first glance the answer seems to be maybe. Of all the states Pawlenty has visited since June 2009, all of them with the exception of Ohio held a delegate selection event in February or earlier (But which states didn't in 2008?). Of course, Arkansas has since moved back to May for 2012 and Michigan likely won't be as early in January the next time around either (Well, we'll see.). But those are mostly early primary and caucus states. Is that just a coincidence? Yeah, probably, but humor me for a second, will you.

As I said at the outset, I wish we had one of these for everyone of the prospective 2012 Republicans. It would be a nice addition to the candidate emergence tracker or the Twitter tracking.

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