Sunday, December 04, 2011

Gingrich leads in IA, SC, FL Chasing Romney In NH – The Modern History of Polling and the eventual nominee.

The Current Top of the Field in Order - Image from CNN

What’s in a poll? – It’s often difficult to tell, especially when polls are taken six months before a caucus or primary, or twelve months before a general election. However, when the polling begins to “tighten” four weeks prior to the caucus or vote, a fairly clear indicator of the eventual nominee appear. AS of now, that individual appears to be one Newt Gingrich.

The following are the current status of polling in December for Iowa and New Hampshire, and South Carolina;

Iowa currently stands at Gingrich 28, Paul 19, and Romney 12, which, happens to be the number of undecided’s. Those undecided’s, at this late date, generally go to one of the two front runners in the polls – Iowa could go to either Paul or Gingrich at this point.

In New Hampshire as of November 29th, Gingrich had come within 10 points of Romney, who is considered to be the frontrunner in New Hampshire, however, the prior poll had Romney at 41 points, with Cain at 23 and Gingrich at 11. Should Gingrich or Romney pull ahead with a 20 point lead within the next polling cycle (December through second week) that individual most likely will have the state. (This of course depends on the poll, some have Gingrich in a statistical tie: See: Real Clear for averages of all polls taken – both national and primary states, with the individual polls available and outcomes.

However, as history does indicate, the State of South Carolina goes a long way in predicting the eventual outcome: Currently Gingrich, has a substantial lead of 23 points over Romney.

In 2007, in the same time period the following polling was highly predictive:

Dec. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee moved into first place among Republicans in Iowa, and Illinois Senator Barack Obama is leading the Democratic field, according to a Des Moines Register poll.
The shift among the top contenders in both parties since the last Register poll comes about a month before the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses, the first contest in the 2008 nomination race. It is followed by the New Hampshire primary on Jan. 8.
Huckabee won the support of 29 percent of Republicans polled, surging 17 percentage points since an October survey and overtaking former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, who got 24 percent support in the poll conducted Nov. 25-28. Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani had 13 percent support and former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson trailed with 9 percent.

While McCain lead in the New Hampshire Polls as of December
Going on to win the state of New Hampshire (similar to the current Romney/Gingrich match-up)

South Carolina then split the vote enough with Fred Thompson on the ballot to Give McCain an Edge over Mike Huckabee.

In 1999, to put everything into perspective, Gallup’s national gave Bush the lead at the same time frame: Bush led the field over Bradley and McCain, entering the race in July of that year.

Finally, there is an interesting history of polling by Gallupwhich points to the fact that the Republican’s had the advantage over the years as a party, overall, and had an incumbent in the White House. While polling on the Democrat side was a bit up and down and consistent with the polling taking place now on the 2012 Republican race. One can conclude therefore, that the current up and down nature of the Republican 2012 Presidential candidates polling, is, from an historical point of view accurate, and as such, the polling taking place now in Iowa and New Hampshire, this late in the game, points to the eventual nominee.

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