Republicans are voting today in South Carolina. And as we’ve seen since New Hampshire, the polling has been pretty consistent. The debates, the exits from the race, and all the momentum seem to have benefited one man: Newt Gingrich.
If Gingrich doesn’t come in first in South Carolina today, it will be a large upset.
I said earlier today “One poll, one time, from one pollster, when two others disagree, does not make a surge.” Since then, Rasmussen Reports has announced and PPP has teased polls that confirm the Gingrich lead that InsiderAdvantage showed.
And then Rick Perry quit the race, endorsing Newt Gingrich.
I went way out on a limb saying Ron Paul does not win the Iowa caucuses, even when he led a bunch of polls. I still say now that Ron Paul will underperform the polls because the turnout model is unrealistic.
Tonight we find out the truth.
Rick Santorum. Now? Seriously? This is ridiculous. How are prognosticators supposed to do our jobs if we get a break so late it makes Mike Huckabee look like an early frontrunner? Seriously, Iowa, simmer down now.
All I know is Ron Paul isn’t winning. Beyond that, anything’s possible.
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.
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.
Just for kicks, I’ve taken the Real Clear Politics chart of the Republican race and done two things with it. First, I eliminated all candidates but Rick Perry and Herman Cain. Second, I shifted Herman Cain back about 45 days, and up about 5 points.
Red is Cain. Blue is Perry. The shapes of the peaks look pretty similar to me.