Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Going deep on the Republicans

Our monthly look at the 2012 Republican Presidential field for November finds the same thing it it does every month- a very close four way race. This time around it's Sarah Palin at 21%, Newt Gingrich at 19%, Mitt Romney at 18%, and Mike Huckabee at 16%. Ron Paul and Tim Pawlenty lead the second tier with 5% each, followed by John Thune at 3% and Mitch Daniels at 2%.

More interesting is something a little different we did this month, asking likely primary voters who their second choices would be. Here's what we found:

-If Newt Gingrich doesn't run the biggest beneficiary would be Mike Huckabee. 31% of Gingrich supporters say Huck is their second choice, followed by 27% who say it's Mitt Romney and 19% who say it's Sarah Palin.

-If Mike Huckabee doesn't run the biggest beneficiary would be Sarah Palin. 34% of Huckabee supporters say Palin is the second choice, with Gingrich and Romney well back at 19% and 17% respectively.

-If Sarah Palin doesn't run the biggest beneficiary would be Mike Huckabee. 24% of Palin supporters say he is their second choice, followed by 20% who say Gingrich and 12% who say Romney.

-If Mitt Romney doesn't run the biggest beneficiary, perhaps somewhat surprisingly, would be Sarah Palin. 27% of Romney supporters say she is their second choice, followed by 23% who say Huckabee and 14% who say Gingrich.

It should be noted on all of these numbers that the margin of error is relatively high.

The other interesting finding on this poll is that even voters who currently support one candidate in the GOP field tend to view the other ones favorably as well:

-Huckabee voters give Palin a 64/27 favorability, Gingrich a 53/23 one, and Romney a 59/26 one. That makes the net favorability for the other candidates an average +33.

-Palin voters give Huckabee a 52/19 favorability, Gingrich a 42/38 one, and Romney a 40/35 one. That makes the net favorability for the other candidates an average +14.

-Gingrich voters give Huckabee a 78/11 favorability, Palin a 67/14 one, and Romney a 61/26 one. That makes the net favorability for the other candidates an average +52.

-Romney voters give Huckabee a 46/25 favorability, Palin a 46/36 one, and Gingrich a 41/42 one. That makes the net favorability for the other candidates an average +10.

The Gingrich and Huckabee voters are going to be fine if someone else gets nominated. They're pretty happy with all the other candidates. The Romney folks perhaps are a greater concern for Republicans because some of them might actually vote for Obama if a Gingrich or Palin gets nominated. The Palin folks aren't all that big on the other candidates either- the chances of them voting for Obama seem quite slim but might they sit home or throw some of their votes to a conservative third party candidate if Romney wins the nomination? All of those things will be interesting to watch.

Full results here

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

"The Gingrich and Huckabee voters are going to be fine if someone else gets nominated."

And that's a good thing for the GOP since those two are probably the least likely of the four to run. Though Huckabee ought to run, as well as he's doing in the polls, and as strongly as he's positioned to win IA again and place well in SC and FL to be the one left standing against Romney after his wins in NH and NV.

George C said...

Love the 2nd choice question, it should be included in every survey. Couldn't help but notice from the crosstabs that all Romney voters understood the question while more than one inh six Palin voters also has Caribou Barbie as second choice. Enthusiasm gap or attention span gap??

Anonymous said...

George C....my guess is those Palin voters understood the question but they would opt to write in Palin if she does not run. Some of her supporters are avid and will either write her name in or they'll stay home. I guess it's ok to do that in the primary but if they do that in the general election, not good.

Wolf of Aquarius said...

It's going to be interesting to see how this develops once the bullets start flying. Each candidate has very obvious weak spots, Palin quit when the going got tough, Romney has Romneycare, etc... Will some of the candidates' negatives increase such that they move off the second-choice list once the fight starts?

wt said...

Thank you for polling so many candidates.

I just emailed Real Clear Politics about starting to put up polls for 2012 horse races. This is exactly the kind of poll that should go into their database of polls.

Anonymous said...

You may wish to consider former NM Governor Gary Johnson in your next round of polling. It now seems almost certain that he's going to throw his hat into the ring.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the people who entered the same name for the 2nd choice question wouldn't consider supporting anyone else in the primary?

Anonymous said...

"George C....my guess is those Palin voters understood the question but they would opt to write in Palin if she does not run."

Nice try, but while it does mean her supporters are very much behind her, I don't think it means that 18% of them are actually intending to say they'd write her in. They may stay home, but I think attention span is a greater issue than their fervor.

Dustin Ingalls said...

"You may wish to consider former NM Governor Gary Johnson in your next round of polling. It now seems almost certain that he's going to throw his hat into the ring."

We're not going to bump off any of these other candidates to put him in, and we can't add him, since we can only do 8 or 9 options. Consider Ron Paul a sort of stand-in.

Matt J. said...

Why did PPP drop Mike Pence? He outperformed Daniels and Thune in most of the state polls and has given more indication of a run than Daniels.

NRH said...

I know this would be excessively difficult to implement and take a massively larger and more expensive sample, but I wish there were regional crosstabs anyhow. Looking at the 2008 Republican primary, I might guess that the levels of support are deceptive.

I suspect Huckabee is leading in most of the south, where he won several states outright in 2008 and took second in just about all the rest. Palin probably still has a fair amount of support, but most of those states are winner-take-all. Huckabee's organizational skills aren't top-notch, but in theocentric communities, he can take advantage of pre-existing structures.

Likewise, I suspect Romney is leading Palin in much of the northeast, where Romney did relatively well in 2008, and in the Mormon areas of the mountain west. He also has some ties to the upper midwest. Probably not enough to win, given the diminished impact the northeast has in Republican primaries due to the low number of Republican elected officials and lack of presidential support, but he might make a good VP pick for someone else.

Looking at the map, I wouldn't be at all surprised to find that Palin doesn't have the same variety of regional support that Huckabee and Romney do. It would mean she'd run well by default where neither of those two is strong, and would still show up prominently in both of their base areas, probably with a lot of second-place finishes to whichever is the regional leader.

Gingrich's supporters' approval ratings for all the Republicans make me think he's almost standing in for 'generic Republican' among the poll respondents, a figurehead for the party rather than really a favored candidate in his own right. I don't have a good hypothesis for him - he might end up being everyone's compromise candidate, he might be second or third all over the place, he might battle Huckabee for the south, I don't know. He doesn't have the regional connection that Huckabee and Romney do, and he doesn't have the pre-existing national backing that Palin has.

Dustin Ingalls said...

We'll be putting out enough polls that you'll get a good sense of where candidates actually stand in the state-by-state contests.

Anonymous said...

One thing I've been interested in with all of these polls is:

What % of Palin supporters just don't know who Huckabee or Romney (or any of the other candidates with the possible exception of Gingrich) are? The 2008 primary was over fairly quickly and not everyone pays as much attention to politics as we do.

This poll seems to indicate that it's a small but notable number based on Palin voters' favorability ratings of the other candidates (lots of don't knows). This also explains the 2nd choice results in the crosstabs. It would be interesting to see results among respondents who have a favorable/unfavorable opinion of all/most of the main candidates, as a proxy for engagement in politics and thus likely participation in primaries.

NRH said...

Though he's been nowhere near the top, I have to think today's revelations about Pawlenty just put a lot of hurt on his chances of entering the race. Pardoning a child molester who turned out to have been molesting his own daughter - so that his wife can run a child care center - is not going to be something he can overcome.

And, it doesn't get said enough, thanks for doing these!

Dustin Ingalls said...

Romney breathed a sigh of relief with that news.

Jonny V said...

I am very very tempted to play dirty:

Register as a Republican and vote for Sarah Palin in the GOP primaries. Tear them apart from the inside.

They deserve it.

 
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