His supporters are out there. Here is a question we got by email from a reader…
Why are you ignoring Ron Paul? He was there with the other nine on stage.
That’s a good question. We have had to leave out many candidates from our presidential tracking polls; five Democrats and up to eight Republicans. Mostly it was just an executive decision. The more candidates we add the longer the poll takes to complete and reduces our response rate. More choices also increase the chance of error in pressing the wrong button for the respondent. Most people are going to pick a top-tier candidate so we think it is better to make sure that count is accurate.
Additionally, the non top-tier candidates just don’t have enough support to merit their inclusion in the polls. One or two percent for each is not going to better inform us about the status of the race. The “other candidate” option in our latest poll, theoretically the support for all of those other candidates combined, was lower than the lowest performing named candidate.
On the Republican side it is also a matter of technology. With our IVR technology we can only have 10 response categories-- touch tones 0 through 9. But there are up to 12 Republican choices (Giuliani, F. Thompson, McCain, Romney, Gingrich, T. Thompson, Brownback, Huckabee, Trancedo, Paul, Hunter, and Gilmore) plus the undecided category.