Monday, November 15, 2010

Previewing Montana and Virginia

We kicked off our 2012 cycle polling over the weekend with surveys in Virginia and Montana. Tomorrow we'll have have Montana Senate and Virginia President numbers, Wednesday we'll have have Virginia Senate and Montana President numbers, Thursday we'll look at who Republicans in those states would most like to have as their Senate and Presidential candidates, and then Friday we'll look at the Montana Governor's race.

A lot of things we found were different between the two states but one thing that was the same may have been the most interesting- two very clear tiers of electability within the ranks of the Republican front runners.

In Virginia both Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee had the exact same margin against Barack Obama. Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin had the same margin as well- but it was 6 points worse than the margin for Romney and Huckabee. In Montana it was an even greater disparity. Just like in Virginia Gingrich and Palin posted the same margin against Obama- there Huckabee does 8 points better than the Gingrich/Palin duo and Romney does 9 points better.

Things will change a ton over the next year but for now it looks like GOP prospects against Obama are massively better with Huckabee or Romney than with Gingrich or Palin.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Did you guys look at Max Baucus at all after the HCR deals he tried to get last year? I mean...beside his approval rating...

Dustin Ingalls said...

No, just his approval rating. That's probably all reflected in his approval figure.

Rasmus said...

Oh come on, any teasers, please?!
I really can't wait. Do you realize that you're the first SERIOUS pollster to poll the state since 2008? Sure, there's a poll by the University of Montana, but it's one of the bad kind of university polls, those with no professional Quinnipiac-Suffolk-Siena-like program but those who simply let 30 poor undergrads call people and somehow tally up the results.

Wolf of Aquarius said...

Wouldn't the time order of the states be one of the most important factors? Momentum may not be real in a general election (according to Nate Silver) but in presidential primaries it is everything, especially with four candidates. Donors and supporters will abandon anyone who cannot win the first batch of states. Here's how I see it play out:

Huckabee wins Iowa with the social conservative because Palin does not have the patience to build support there.

Romney wins in New Hampshire.

Palin and Gingrich, if running, fade away. Romney blasts Huckabee for being a tax-and-spend politician while Huckabee attacks Romney for Romneycare. Whoever wins the nomination turns it into a "No-bama" fight but it turns out like the Dems' Anti-Bush campaign in reverse. Obama wins by 3 points.

Dustin Ingalls said...

Of course momentum from the early states would change a lot, but there's no way or reason to measure that now. Romney is certainly dominating the early states now--he's got healthy leads in NH, NV, and FL. He wasn't doing very well last time we did IA and SC, but I think the other candidates were splitting those states.

NRH said...

I don't think Romney has such good odds in New Hampshire. In 2008, his only real base of support was in the communities immediately bordering Massachusetts and a little bit around the Lakes Region. He couldn't crack 32% in 2008, and this time through he'll have been four more years away from the area and having his health-care plan much more prominently on the radar screen to defend against. Palin doesn't play well in NH and neither does Huckabee's brand of social conservatism (he got under 12% last time). There really isn't a prominent Republican candidate who stands out as a great draw for NH yet. Romney could win, but I don't think he's anywhere near a lock, and I very strongly suspect that the 'winner' will have a very unimpressive plurality again.

 
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