MEMO TO NATIONAL MEDIA: NATIONAL GOP PRIMARY POLLS ARE MOSTLY MEANINGLESS

This week, the well-respected pollsters at Quinnipiac University released the results from a national survey of 672 Republicans they conducted November 23-30, 2015.  This poll found Donald Trump leading the GOP race with 27% of the vote, followed by Marco Rubio (17%), Ted Cruz (16%), Ben Carson (16%), Jeb Bush (5%), and several other candidates below 5%.

This survey immediately prompted the following headlines:

 “Poll: Trump leads as Carson fades” (CNN)
“Donald Trump Leads GOP Field, Carson Falls to Third” (Breitbart)
“Carson tumbles, Rubio rises and Trump still on top in new national GOP poll” (Fox News)
“Trump Builds His Lead, Clinton Gains in Matchups With GOP” (Bloomberg)

Well then, let’s coronate Donald Trump right now and dispense with the frivolities of voting.

The real truth is that national polling in GOP primaries (and, even Democratic primaries) two months before any primary ballots have been cast has historically been meaningless and far from an accurate predictor of who will end up the eventual nominee of a respective party.

In December 2003:
CBS News declares that Howard Dean “pulls away” in Democratic race.  Dean led in the CBS News national survey of 290 Democratic primary voters with 23% of the vote, followed by Wesley Clark (10%) and Joe Lieberman (10%).  Much further down the ballot test, eventual presidential nominee John Kerry was at just 4% and his running-mate John Edwards at just 2%.
(http://www.cbsnews.com/news/poll-dean-pulls-away-in-dem-race/)

In December 2007:
Gallup polling shows that Hillary Clinton “maintains large lead over Obama nationally” in the Democratic primary campaign.  Clinton led Obama 45%-15% in the national poll of 513 Democratic voters.  (We know how that turned out.)
(http://www.gallup.com/poll/103351/clinton-maintains-large-lead-over-obama-nationally.aspx)

Further, Gallup’s survey of 399 Republican voters gives Rudy Giuliani (25%) nearly a ten point lead over Mike Huckabee (16%) for the GOP nomination, with eventual nominee John McCain in third place.
(http://www.gallup.com/poll/103348/giuliani-leads-gop-race-huckabee-others-tie-second.aspx)

In December 2011:
Less than one-month until the Iowa caucuses and about one month to the day before the New Hampshire primary, CNN national polling shows Newt Gingrich “topping the field of Republican presidential candidates by double digits in three of the four states to first hold contests in the race for the GOP nomination.”  Eventual nominee Mitt Romney was behind by double-digits in Iowa, and Iowa caucus winner Rick Santorum was at 5%.
(http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2011/12/07/cnn-poll-gingrich-front-runner-in-3-of-first-4-states-to-vote/)

Bottom line – take national GOP primary polling with a tablespoon (or better, yet a bowl) of salt.  Primary contests are notoriously fluid as voters really focus only in the few weeks immediately prior to the election.  Folks, this is still the pre-season!

Share on Facebook0Share on Google+0Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn0Email this to someone
Similar Articles

  • Could the California Democrat’s Supermajority become their Kryptonite?
    read more

  • Call It A Comeback
    read more

  • No Time to Rest on Our Laurels
    read more

  • Tinfoil Tuesday
    read more

  • What the Q1 CNBC Data Says About Tax Reform
    read more

Public Opinion Strategies helped us to clarify what we wanted to learn and then conducted research and analysis that shed light even beyond the questions we set out to ask. They were very receptive to our suggestions, responsive to our queries, and flexible when we needed them to be.

Public Opinion Strategies has consistently offered unparalleled advice and spot-on polling that has shaped how and where we spent money and deploy key resources. Additionally, they have always been an excellent steward of limited campaign resources, ensuring we spend wisely and not a dollar more than necessary in order to get the information we need.

Robert Blizzard and Public Opinion Strategies did a great job for us throughout our successful campaign for Congress. Robert gave us accurate data, spot on analysis, and professional advice, all of which were essential to our victory.

Public Opinion Strategies is one of our go-to pollsters when it comes to testing public support for bond ballot measures and other initiative proposals. They are available to provide ongoing consultation with regard to crafting of ballot questions, public outreach messaging, and related efforts.

ACLI has worked with Public Opinion Strategies for decades, through several tough industry battles—often ones in which public opinion does not naturally fall on the side of insurers. Yet Bill and his team consistently provide invaluable strategic advice by refining our messages and helping us frame our issues in a way that makes them understandable and persuasive.

The data from Public Opinion Strategies provided important insight and informed our public awareness campaign. We sincerely appreciate their professionalism and expertise in this arena.

Nicole McCleskey and the team at Public Opinion Strategies have been invaluable to me, both during my campaigns and as Governor of the State of New Mexico. It’s not just the accuracy of their numbers, but guiding the overall strategy that makes them so valuable.

Public Opinion Strategies has been a part of our team in Missouri for more than a decade. With their data and guidance, Republicans here were able to attain a majority in the House in 2002 for the first time in fifty years, and we have been able to grow that majority to the point that we now have a record, veto-proof majority.

Lori Weigel from Public Opinion Strategies reviewed our needs and guided us toward asking the right questions. Her reporting was easy to follow and her interpretation of the data provided clear decision points.

In my tenure at two leading business associations, facing huge and complex consumer issues, I have benefitted enormously from the objective advisory skills of Bill and his team. They do their homework, they are rigorous, dispassionate and thoughtful. Turning questions into answers is a clever tag, but it’s also an apt description of the professional talents of the firm.

I consider Public Opinion Strategies to be a part of our team. That is the way we have always worked. They have helped us to understand our needs and fashioned research solutions to meet those needs. They have helped us to meet killer deadlines by being flexible, executing rapidly, and insuring quality. Teamwork is the best way to describe it.

Accuracy, speed, and deep knowledge of key issues and public sentiment are the hallmarks of quality opinion research, and on these measures Public Opinion Strategies consistently delivers. I have had the pleasure of working with Public Opinion Strategies for more than 15 years on dozens of issues, and they are undoubtedly the gold standard.

Public Opinion Strategies’ track record of success and wealth of experience in political campaigns and issue advocacy are why they are one of the most trusted and well respected public opinion firms in Washington, D.C. Their insights and perspectives have helped to inform a wide array of public affairs activities across multiple industries.

Social Media Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com