Remember 2004? Insurgent Democrat Howard Dean uses a rash of young people online to raise surprising sums of money and gather incredible “buzz” for his candidacy. And yet he drops to third in Iowa, then second in New Hampshire. He would not go on to California, and Texas, and New York, nor would he take the White House.
I’ve been telling people PPP’s polling Iowa was making nonsense predictions. The pollster has doubled down.
I’m going way out on a limb here, and if the actual results refudiate what I’m saying then I’m going to have to take some taunting, but I just don’t see how this poll remotely reflects reality, and I’m flatly saying it’s not predictive of the caucus results.
Newt Gingrich has now led eleven national straight polls, counting just the latest Gallup tracking, and now covering a span of four weeks. He’s been ahead a month. That’s already four times longer than Herman Cain ever led, and getting close to the span of Rick Perry’s lead, which lasted about five weeks.
But is there any sign of weakness?
It’s early, so we’ve only had one House generic ballot in the last month that polled likely voters. Some would even say it’s too early to tell who the likely voters are, but as we learned last time, registered voter polls lean too far one way.
But, we peeked in on the early, naive Senate projection, so let’s do the same for the House.
Marist College polled South Carolina for NBC. By request, I’m looking at this poll, but not because of anything it says about the upcoming primaries in the state.
Instead, it’s the projection of the general election that is interesting. It seems to suggest a wave for the Democrats bigger than 2006 or 2008.
The worst thing about this time of year is that I only have one race to write about, so when the polling stabilizes and there’s no news, I run out of things to say.
Candidates for office aren’t always well known at first. This difference in name recognition can distort early polling, which is why in this Republican Presidential primary race I keep watching approval ratings for clues.
So my personal find today of Gallup’s Positive Intensity Score tracker I think is worth a look, especially as we consider whether Newt Gingrich’s lead is here to stay.
We went 10 days without a poll in the field, and then after that, we went another 5 days of no news. That’s nerve wracking when the last poll was so radically different from the past.
But fortunately the new Gallup is in, and it tracks very well with the Rasmussen poll. In fact if we pretend there’s no randomness, the poll lends itself perfectly to a new narrative.
I’ve been going crazy since Thanksgiving. We hadn’t gotten any polls over the long holiday weekend, and then no polling was conducted over the weekend itself, so we went 10 days with no major national polls in the field.
Rasmussen broke the dry spell and the read is simple: Thanksgiving was very, very good to Newt Gingrich.
Once Newt Gingrich finally gained some genuine attention after months of praise of his debate performances, the Republican presidential race became a mess. We didn’t know who was leading. It could have been Gingrich, Mitt Romney, or Herman Cain.
For now though it’s settled: Newt Gingrich leads. And as I’ve said in the past, watch his favorability ratings to know whether it’ll last.