February 5, 2011

Poll Analysis: The Horse Race (02/05/11)

  2:32 pm

A number of people have asked me why I have not been posting the more detailed polling analysis that I used to do on a regular basis.  There were several reasons:

  1. I felt it was too soon after the midterms.
  2. It was “the crazy time”.  I wanted to wait for things to settle somewhat before resuming.
  3. I wanted to wait until the new year to make a clean break with the past.
  4. I wanted to wait until we had a reasonable sampling before doing any analysis.

I feel the time is right to begin them again.  So here is my first horse race analysis.

Oh, one more thing.  As before, I am relying strictly upon Public Policy Polling (PPP) for my data.  I have always found that they are a perfectly reputable polling firm, one of the best. Certainly, they have their biases.  All polling firms do.  The important thing is by taking data only from one source, any biases that there might be should be consistent from poll to poll. Any trends that show up will be for real.  And at this stage of the game, trends are far more important than any one data point.

So, here is the history of PPP’s Horse Race polls so far this year:

(Horse Race) Del Daniels Gringrich Huckabee Palin Paul Pawlenty Romney Thune Other/Und
IA (1/11) 28 1 13 30 15 6 4 18 3 10
NV (1/10) 28 1 18 14 19 7 1 31 1 8
TX (1/19) 152 3 17 25 21 9 5 10 8
NJ (1/25) 50 3 15 18 14 8 4 18 2 19
NC (1/28) 55 3 18 27 16 6 7 11 1 10
WV (1/28) 31 2 17 28 23 6 5 10 0 8
SC (2/1) 50 3 13 26 18 7 4 20 8
NE (2/3) 35 1 18 21 19 8 4 15 3 12
AZ (2/4) 57 2 15 19 15 5 4 23 1 16
Weighted Ave 2.4 16.2 23.5 18.2 7.3 4.5 15.5 1.5 10.7

The second column is the number of delegates that each state will send to the 2012 Republican convention. It is used to weigh the weighted average.

Here is the graph:

So far, it isn’t much.  It only shows one week.  But as a new data point in added each week, we should be able to readily spot any trends that might arise.

Oh, one more thing.  I plan on making the weighted average a moving average of two months.  In that way, data more than two months old will be eliminated.  Only data that is reasonably current will be affecting the analysis.


  • Huckabee is ahead followed by Palin, Gringrich, and Romney.
  • Only eight points separate Huckabee from Romney.
  • The lead may well be an artifact of PPP polling mainly Huckabee friendly territory. Over time as more and more states are polled, this may narrow.  Only time will tell.
  • Palin, in spite of what most people are saying, is still in the thick of things.  At least, that is, for the states PPP has polled.


by Oldest
by Best by Newest by Oldest

Wow, great job, Mark..

You the Man! :)!


With numbers this good, Huck will run. He doesn't want Romney to be the nominee. Based on other people's comments, it'll be very interesting to see if Daniels or Thune runs. Palin's a wild card.


Those putting their money where their mouth is see it quite differently. Intrade.com

Romney: 24

Palin: 11

Huckabee: 8.4

Gingrich: 4.7

And Mark, as you indicated as a possibility, the states chosen since the first of the year are heavily biased as not being good for Mitt.


Looking at your cool chart, Palin has a big early state problem.

IMO, Palin's main concern though, has to be she only has half the support of Huck in Iowa.

And I'm starting to think that if Romney tries a little harder there, that even he outperforms her on caucus night and she'll be stuck with fighting T-Paw for third.

Third is no good for her.


3.Illinoisguy Says:

February 5th, 2011 at 2:45 pm

"And Mark, as you indicated as a possibility, the states chosen since the first of the year are heavily biased as not being good for Mitt."


Yeah, like IOWA, SOUTH CAROLINA, TEXAS, NORTH CAROLINA, NEBRASKA or NEW JERSEY where he's not leading or way behind.


"He doesn’t want Romney to be the nominee."

You don't run for President because you don't want one other candidate not to win...in any case, Huckabee doesn't exactly pull from the same group as Romney, so he could never get in as a spoiler.

Huckabee will make the decision to run (or not) based on his own desires, and his own situation...he may very well find that the benefits, financial and otherwise, of his TV show too much to give up.

Yes, I know he's going to Iowa - but I see that as keeping options open, not deffinitely running.


Our by far strongest Social Conservative Republican candidate will run.



How do these same polls show they do against Obama?

Ia- Huckabee by 2 over Romney 2nd

Nv- Romney by 9 over Huckabee 2nd

Tx- Huckabee by 9 over Romney 2nd

Nj- Romney and Huckabee tied for 1st

Nc- Romney by 1 over Huckabee 2nd

wv- Huckabee by 5 over Romney 2nd

Sc- Romney by 1 over Huckabee 2nd

Ne- Huckabee by 1 over Romney 2nd

SD (Also this year) Romney and Huckabee tied for first.

NC-(Also this year) Romney over Huckabee

Only Romney and Huckabee do best in match ups against Obama. ANd these are mostly in states lousy for Romney to do well. In spite of that Huckabee only does better than Mitt in four of the 10 states, and ties in two, same as Mitt.

Furthermore, when you include states polled in the last three months, Mitt has done better than Huckabee against Obama...not too shabby for being under the radar all this time.


Sorry, I didn't know you were going to post this data on your new posting.


Weighted Ave – 2.4 16.2 23.5 18.2 7.3 4.5 15.5 1.5


Prediction: 8)

By this August - 2.4 13.2 28.5 14.2 5.3 10.5 17.0 0.0

And the lion's share of the 10.7 undecided/others category will go to mostly Huntsman Jr. to put him a couple points behind T-Paw, in my opinion.


Illinoisguy Says:

February 5th, 2011 at 3:10 pm

"How do these same polls show they do against Obama?

Only Romney and Huckabee do best in match ups against Obama"


So you're saying we got a chance?


Mitt has been purposely staying under the radar for a very long time. WE know he has been working his tail off for candidates, writing good Op Eds, making foreign trips etc. But, most of the voters are barely remembering his name at this time. In spite of this, Romney is the front runner, with Huckabee a close second. Mitt has lead in 5 of the last 7 national polls, and this particular poll is one that had a terribly skewed result nationally. Just wait until he comes out of the wood work, starts running on his economic strengths, and hundreds of top people come out endorsing Mitt Romney. Until then, we'll continue to see a tight race with Mitt barely front runner.


Craig, Mitt will beat Obama if he is then nominee. Mike might be able to also, depending how well he handles what they throw at him on his weaknesses.


Like RomneyCare = ObamaCare??

Oh wait, that's your boy.


13.Illinoisguy Says:

February 5th, 2011 at 3:31 pm

"Just wait until he comes out of the wood work"


You sound just like TEX when he gushes about Sarahcuda.



Better that The Convention Speech?

That was great.


Excellent work, marK.


Great job, Mark! Thank you for doing this!!!

From comparing my records, it looks like you might have missed the PA poll posted on 1/12/11 on page 3 of the pdf file


I love how you included the links, too!


California numbers out. Some crazy info.


Romney and Huckabee do the best because people know who they are and aren't as conservative/divisive as newt or sarah. I still think some of the relatively unknown candidates can beat Obama once people know who they are.


Granny T,

You are right. I did miss the PA 1/10 Horse Race Poll. I went ahead and updated my data and the results barely moved -- two or three tenths of percentage points. Nothing major.

So the data I post next week will reflect that fix.




You're welcome. I knew it had to be an oversight. We seem to both be the type that want our work to be accurate - even when the truth hurts. I have a feeling I'll be taking the down section of the roller coaster ride soon - when they start polling more of the Western and Northeastern states.


Mitt is not under the radar technically... he's been disbursing his ill-gotten wealth to republican establishment money makers to buy him the presidency.

"Under the radar" in technical sense is "not being under the D.C. political machine radar" something which Romney has been "pinging" all this time around since his dismal failure in 2008.

Romney the flip flopper spoiled brat is just as scrupulous as his "brother"


27. Wow--Tornado must have set the record for the most insults hurled at a candidate in a single comment! Congratulations--he deserves a prize. Politics at its finest.



Who is Romney's "brother"?




Is that you stirring up trouble again?


Hey Hamaca, I think you forgot about what happened in the Clemmens incident. 4 people are on record wanting Huck to burn in hell. Amidst the flurry of insults hurled that day, I don't think you can top it.



Very true, Steven.

Sadly very true. It takes a certain type of warped person to policize the sad events in Washington state that day.

Comments are closed.

Recent Posts

Tweets by @Racefour

Search R4'16