Thursday, September 16, 2010

Previewing our 2012 numbers

We're going to have our monthly national 2012 Presidential poll out tomorrow and I realized something sort of fascinating about the numbers: the better known the Republican candidate is the worst he/she does against Barack Obama.

Without getting into the specifics of the numbers here's how it breaks down:


Rank for Name Recognition

Performance Against Obama

Sarah Palin



Newt Gingrich



Mitt Romney



Mike Huckabee



Barack Obama's not very popular right now and I think if we took an up or down vote on keeping him as President today he'd probably lose. But that's not how it works and our data indicates that the better voters know his possible Republican opponents the better Obama starts looking to them in comparison. And we already saw from Tuesday night that GOP voters aren't willing to sacrifice principle for electability these days so Obama might just luck out by the conservative Republican base nominating someone that moderate independents and Republicans can't live with even if they dislike Obama.

We'll have the full numbers out tomorrow.


Unknown said...

What about Mitch Daniels?

Hopefully he was used in the poll...

Anonymous said...

I agree with you that electability is a fluid issue. If the election were held today, Obama would lose big time to Mike Huckabee, would most likely lose to Mitt Romney, but probably would beat Palin and Gingrich.

The only way Obama loses to Palin -- and probably Gingrich -- is if the economy is in a free-fall.

BUT -- it has nothing to do with how well they know Palin -- nor how little they know Huckabee -- and everything to do with her inability to govern and Huckabee's huge likeability factor (not to mention his executive experience, populist appeal and eloquent communication skills).

Nominating Mike Huckabee will be the democrats' -- and Obama's -- worst scenario.

Your own polls demonstrate that -- no matter how much you attempt to argue it away.

Dustin Ingalls said...

"What about Mitch Daniels?

Hopefully he was used in the poll..."

No, Glenn Beck won our poll for the bonus Republican.

Anon, I think you'll slightly change your tune tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

I think it is far too early, at this point in 2006, no one had heard of Huckabee and Romney, two major players for the nomination. There is also a drop off somewhere as demonstrated in some of your polls, when someone like John Thune, Mitch Daniels or Chris Cristie are polled against Obama, they perform worst than Palin, Huckabee, Gingrich and Romney. Are we supposed to believe America hates Thune, Daniels and Cristie more than they do Palin or Gingrich, yeah right. No one knows them yet.

Anonymous said...

Mike Huckabee is quite clearly the most experienced, most qualified, most trustworthy (very important this time around) candidate the Republicans have. Hopefully he will run. Huck to the house in 2012

Anonymous said...

There's plenty of GOP possibilities not on that list, many of them Governors or former Governors. Nice try by PPP, though, to make Obama look a little better!

djd11 said...

Steve Forbes will win and fix the economy. Huckabee has no chance of winning enough electorial votes.

TheSchaef said...

I don't think correlation equals causation in this instance, considering the figures in question and some other confounding factors.

Palin has notoriety but in many ways she is more infamous than famous, and I think people hesitate to vote for a woman seen - correctly or incorrectly - as someone on the lunatic fringe of politics.

As I look down the list, it seems that it doesn't just go from greatest to least in recognition, but also from least to greatest in terms of political stability. Palin is a national figure with a lot of branding baggage. Newt is respected in some conservative circles but carries the stigma of his time as Speaker, Romney was a legitimate presidential contender in 08, and Huckabee was a quiet favorite among fiscal conservatives and fans of his effective style in Arkansas.

So I don't think Democrats can take this data and make Huckabee less popular by raising his public profile. It certainly didn't hurt Paul Ryan at all.

Anonymous said...

Who cares about potential 2012 matchups at this point when you have a HUGE midterm election in 45 days. Poll battleground races and don't waste your time on this nonsense.

wt said...

Because of the number of candidates in the primary, there's no need to win a majority early on. Just a plurality until you build up momentum and the other candidates don't.

So if Palin can carry even 30-35% in Iowa, NH, South Carolina, etc., she's golden. And if she is the Tea Party candidate in 2012, which she's gunning for, it will be very hard to stop her.

And electability just isn't a concern anymore, obviously.

Anonymous said...

Dustin, with all due respect, I do not base my political strategizing on your polls -- I only pointed to the fact that your own polling demonstrates Huckabee faring best against Obama -- at the worst, tied with Romney -- FOR TWO STRAIGHT YEARS OF MONTHLHY POLLING.

Let me assure you, as a democrat you had better hope they DO know Huckabee -- because the more they know him, the more they like him. At this point, they know him well enough to set him apart from Palin and Gingrich and, as they get more acquainted with him, that fervor will only grow.

No need to decide this now, Destin -- time will tell which one of us presented the more accurate analysis.

Dustin Ingalls said...

"Who cares about potential 2012 matchups at this point when you have a HUGE midterm election in 45 days. Poll battleground races and don't waste your time on this nonsense."

A lot of people clamor for it.

NRH said...

Everybody can project their own ideal candidate onto somebody they don't know. It's why 'generic Republican' runs better against Obama than any actual Republican. We see the same thing in the New Hampshire Senate race. As long as Kelly Ayotte could refuse to take any positions, people could project whatever they wanted onto her, conservatism or moderation, and she held a commanding lead. Once she was forced to start running explicitly as a conservative to squeak through the Republican primary, people started identifying the points where she fell short of their ideal candidate, and now Paul Hodes has pulled into a statistical tie.

Same thing holds true with Obama. Once you start holding specific Republicans up, people get to make individual comparisons, and Obama comes out on top.

djd11 said...

The Obama Kool Aid is weak, phony, watered down and being rejected. That train left the station in 2008and has be de-railed.

Americans do not like being poor,do not appreciate the bait and switch we got after voting for hope and change, and socialism, as we al know continues to produce misery.

Limited government and individual freedom beats Big Brother and dependency.

Dustin Ingalls said...

Now you see why I said you'd change your tune, Anon. You say Huckabee has "huge likeability," but I guess that's only in comparison to the others. When almost as many people have a negative opinion as a positive one, you can't claim to have "huge likeability." I suppose he could become better liked if people got to know him more, but the trend is not in his favor, as Tom has noted. When he starts taking his ultraconservative positions during the actual primary campaign, he won't become more likeable, just as the firebrands Palin and Gingrich are viewed very negatively.

ARealSenator said...

I'm also curious about Daniels. He's a policy wonk with the experience for sure, but working in the W. White House can't help his cause. You think there is any chance Jeb Bush makes an independent run in 2012? Not even sure he could raise the money but it could be interesting.

Dustin Ingalls said...

"You think there is any chance Jeb Bush makes an independent run in 2012?"

Not a chance. He's not a Tea Partier, exactly, and he's got more crossover appeal than his brother, but he's a partisan Republican through and through. No Bush would buck the Grand Old Party.

Al Pippin said...

Re: Mike Huckabee

"When he starts taking his ultra conservative positions during the actual primary campaign, he won't become more likeable..."


As per Gallup, conservatives now make up 70% of Republican voters - also having (by far and away) the largest percentage of voters most enthusiastic about voting. And I don't see that changing between now and 2012. All things conidered, I, in fact, foresee those numbers as increasing.

Most conservatives (of which I am one) do not view Mike Huckabee's position on issues as being, in any way) ULTRAconservative, extreme or confrontational - and is viewed by most as being well respected and very likeable. Between now and 2012, I can only see that perception of him as growing.

Frankly Dustin, I am amazed that you would somehow come up with that kind of conclusion about Mike Huckabee. I really am.

Perhaps you might explain.

Dustin Ingalls said...

I meant he won't become more likeable among the general electorate, which is what we're talking about here. Just take his performance at the Value Voters Summit as an example. That stuff plays to the base but not to the general electorate.

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