Friday, May 21, 2010

Looking at our GOP polling

For most of our 2012 Republican polling up until a month ago we were just asking voters to choose between Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin, and Mitt Romney. At that time we decided to add Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul into the mix. The main thing that's changed since then? Mitt Romney's standing.

On our first national poll with all five candidates included Romney went from 33% to 23%, losing 30% of his support. Huckabee went from 27% to 25%, losing only 7% of his support and Palin went from 23% to 20%, just 13% of her support.

We also have before and after comparisons in North Carolina and Colorado. In NC Romney went from 27% to 15%, losing 44% of his support. Meanwhile Huckabee and Palin went from being tied at 30% to tied at 22%, each losing 27% of their support. (Newt Gingrich has 16% and Ron Paul has 8%.)

Romney also lost much more of his support than the other two in Colorado. He went from 44% to 25% when Gingrich and Paul were thrown in, losing 43% of his support. Meanwhile Palin and Huckabee actually improved their positions, with the former going from 25% to 29% and the latter from 17% to 18%.

It's WAY too early for this kind of analysis but on a slow moving Friday afternoon here's my takeaway:

Romney's support is relatively weak and it looks like a lot of his strong standing on our three way polls with him, Palin, and Huckabee may have been more of an anti-Huckabee/Palin thing than a pro-Romney thing. Once more additional choices were offered Romney's support declined at a rapid rate.

Romney's best chance for the nomination will be if the leading trio of potential GOP candidates really remains the leading trio of potential GOP candidates. If Gingrich really gets in it, or a Tim Pawlenty or John Thune or Mitch Daniels catches fire that's more likely to hurt Romney than anybody else. Huckabee and Palin have more solid bases of support.


Anonymous said...

Btw, Tom, when all recommended CA, it was underpolled... we didn't think that we'll get PPIC and R2k in the same week. sorry.... Another race might be more interesting now.... Though you lost quite a bit of credibility after PA-12...

wt said...

I don't even think Palin or Huckabee wants to run in 2012, so it's hard to grapple with these hypotheticals. And Ron Paul in 2012? What's the point of doing that poll?

I guess I'm not sure why Pawlenty and Thune aren't in your regular polls these days; and if you want to include a Paulian type, maybe Gary Johnson or Rand Paul.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for including 2012 races in your polling. What state(s) did you decide to poll next?

Anonymous said...

Or you could have only Romney and Huckabee standing in the end -- which is probably the way it will go -- and then let the good times roll -- and the best man win (in my opinion, that is Huckabee)

Anonymous said...

Here is another take: The earlier votes for Romney were neither anti-Huck nor anti-Palin. Rather Huck and Palin were splitting each other in certain states (especially the mid-west) and Romney was benefitting. Now Gingrich is doing to Romney what Palin did to Huckabee (Huckabee still is strong in the south, however, with or without Palin, NC notwithstanding).

In the end only two will survive --

Anonymous said...

I think you should poll Kentucky's senate race again after the news furor.

Anonymous said...

to wt above, Johnson doesn't get any traction in the polls, Ron Paul does - a lot more than Pawlenty et al. Ron Paul has a growing following and recently polled one point below Obama in a head to head race. Mind you, the primary would be a challenge, since a lot of his support was from independents.

Anonymous said...

I think the race will be between Huck and Mitt, with Huck getting the nomination...which BTW would make me extremely happy. I look forward to watching Obama trying to debate Huckabee - what fun!

Unknown said...

I agree in that especially Mike Huckabee has a solid base of support. His supporters are faithful and are not the type to back down and support another candidate who happens to pop up on the scene. Most, if not all of Huckabee's supporters from 2008 are still supporting him and so many more have joined his bandwagon as well.

Huckapedia said...

Late Breaking News... the Best Governor in America voted by Time Magazine, Governor Mike Huckabee / FoxNews TV Host Celebrity has captured his (21st) 2012 Presidential Win!

Check out all 21 wins, just google three simple words: Huckabee Fan Club

PS - Mike Huckabee has also captured 5 months in a row of Nielsen #1 TV ratings. The only week he didnt capture 1st place was the week of the Olympics. Huckabee's momentum just keeps on growing at a blistering pace across America.

PNC said...

Apparently Romney and Gingrich are splitting part of the vote, just as Huckabee and Palin are splitting the other part.

However, I don't buy the idea that Gingrich is "turning" nominal Romney voters--the two candidates are just too different ideologically. Romney appeals to moderates and fiscal conservatives; Gingrich, like Huckabee and Palin, appears to appeal mainly to social conservatives and the Christian Right.

I suspect that a large chunk of Romney's support when Gingrich wasn't included, consisted of voters who were socially conservative or Christian Right, but couldn't bring themselves to support Huckabee or Palin (there are strong opinions about both). In the absence of any other alternative, those voters went for Romney.

When Gingrich is added, it seems that he is seen by social conservatives and the Christian Right as a credible alternative to Huckabee and Palin. Those voters no longer have the need to support Romney.

Anonymous said...

I'd like you to poll SC with the big 4.

Then, for ONE QUESTION, add JIM DEMINT as a 5th. Watch Huckabee, Gingrich, and Palin's numbers go down. in that Scenario, I'd pick either;

1. DeMint
2. Romney


1. Romney
2. DeMint


Romney / DeMint in 2012!


Anonymous said...

Now I see that SurveyUSA will also have CA polls coming out next week, on the heels of PPIC and R2k, what did you get yourself into? A fourth poll?

Anonymous said...

I must admit that I'm on that Huck bandwagon and I'm also looking forward to Obama having to face an awesome debater.

Anonymous said...

Huckabee 2012! Abolish the IRS!! :) :): :): :)

Unknown said...

Only Mike Huckabee could outdebate Barack Obama. If the Republicans have any sense at all, they will get behind Huckabee.

Anonymous said...

Conservatives will dump huckabee and he'll sink like a lead balloon once the primary begins, with lotsa commercials showing huck, the Liberal, being easy on criminals. huck has given clemency to over a 1,000 criminals, some of them violent! In fact, 2 felons that huck helped release have since murdered SIX persons, 4 of them police officers! When the voters get a clue about huck, they will stick 'em with a fork...he'll be beyond cooked for good.

Anonymous said...

The Republicans are parading Romney around the country as the "featured speaker" right now on their fund raising tour. Also, Republicans usually play it by the book, the loser of the previous primary is the nominee the next time, so it would make sense that Romney would get the nod. But these are crazy times, and I think the Republican base will coalesce around a dark horse, because a dark horse will feel like an anti-establishment vote. I know that may not make sense, but there's a sense that, voting for the people who are the front runners is a vote for what the party wants, and the people aren't happy with the party. So, if someone like Boehner or Paul Ryan jumps in the race at the last minute and has that fiscal conservative appeal without the Katie Couric baggage Palin has, or the religion over governing sense that Huck has,or the cranky old man baggage Newt has, then I think they'll get the nod. Pawlenty is another possibility.

Anonymous said...

There is a simple equation to explain Romney's demise: R = O, where R = Romneycare and O = Obamacare. As more Republicans have come to realize that, they do not want Romney as their standard-bearer in 2012.

More generally, polling this question right now is a name ID contest and a big waste of time. Once GOP mainliners start focusing on 2012 (after the midterm), they will choose a governor like TPaw, Daniels--or perhaps Chris Christie.

Unknown said...

Huckabee appeals to social conservatives and those who like one liners. Palin appeals to emotion based Republicans who value charisma and style to go with simple take-aways. She also has a strong appeal to GOP women.

Outside of Mormons Romney has no base. He's the smart guy on fiscal issues... until some other smart guy on fiscal issues digs into his support.

What made Romney most formidable in 2008 was his organization's ability to turn out for caucuses. He won every one. We've seen with state conventions that landscape may be changing.

He was outflanked on the moderate side by McCain in 2008 and was hurt because moderate states, NH, FL, NY, NJ, CT, and CA, were so early. Of course GOP conservatives are energized and that may negate the moderate positioning.

Given his ability to win caucuses and his experience in 2008 I'd still make him a favorite. Especially if the GOP eliminates winner take all.

John said...

Ever thought about asking people first if they would prefer Romney or Huckabee, then if they would prefer Romney, Huckabee or Palin, and then include Paul/Gingrich? May give a good view of who would win if it came down to only Huck and Romney (the two most viable candidates). I'm quite sure Huck would win since Palin shares more positions with Huckabee than with Romney.

PNC said...

Huckabee is the Republican Obama.

That isn't a compliment.

Anonymous said...

To the person talking about Huckabee's clemency record, you are stretching the truth my friend. Clemency is not the same as parole or a pardon. Do some reading and get it right and stop spreading the lies.

Clemency is simply a reduction in sentence. It does not let anyone out of jail. The Parole Board are the only ones that can grant parole.

Pardons are a totally different issue as well. The Governor can grant pardons which Huckabee did a lot of but mainly for people who committed very minor infractions so they could get jobs. One example of this was when he pardoned people who wrote cold checks when they were young but have since grown up and become contributing members of society.

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