Category Archives: Presidential campaign

CNN Poll: Hillary Cruising
… Well, Not Really

July 6, 2015 — CNN/Opinion Research Corporation (ORC International) released their new monthly poll just before the Independence Day break, and the data detects major improvements for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, but the polling methodology is largely the reason for the gains.

The CNN/ORC polls traditionally begin with surveying all adults, and then drill down to isolate registered voters. This has the effect of reducing the sampling pool well below 1,000 national respondents. They again do so in this poll.

During the period of June 26-28, a group of 1,017 adults from across the US was randomly selected. Of those, 890 were registered voters.
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Trump Surges in Polls

June 25, 2015 — Despite universal media condemnation and being the butt of almost every joke on the late night TV circuit after officially launching his presidential campaign last week, international businessman Donald Trump has already moved into second place according to a new poll of New Hampshire Republican voters.

The Suffolk University Political Research Center (June 18-22; 500 highly to moderately likely New Hampshire Republican primary voters) finds Trump jumping from the low single-digits to moving ahead of every opponent but one, and trails former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush by just three points.

Obviously, some members of the New Hampshire electorate do find Trump’s brash and blunt style attractive. He has been making appearances throughout the state, and is clearly having at least a modicum of success.

The fact that he could make such a quick move also reveals extreme fluidity within the massive field of Republican candidates. It is important to remember that, among the unwieldy group of almost 20 contenders, no candidate even touches 15 percent. Additionally, even individuals receiving one and zero votes are still within 15 points of topping the field.
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The Real Story Behind Strategist Saying Hillary Could Lose Early States

June 23, 2015 — Over the weekend, Democratic strategist Maria Cardona was giving undue credence to Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) leftward challenge to Hillary Clinton, all the while claiming to support the latter candidate. She even stated on the ABC This Week program that Sanders could actually upset Clinton in the first two voting states, Iowa and New Hampshire.

The statement tells us a couple of things. First, if Cardona’s comments were part of a defined campaign strategy, they would signal a move typical of Clinton political efforts. The many national Clinton presidential quests have always handled adversity by directly addressing a particular issue or area of weakness, and then creating a spin opposite of conventional perception.

For example, the pre-Clinton campaign leaked months ago that the former Secretary of State and First Lady’s brain trust believe that former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush would be the strongest candidate the Republicans could field against Hillary Clinton. They site his fundraising ability and universal name identification as the reasons. Translation: Bush is exactly who the Clinton strategists want to run against. In a race about the past, early polling suggests that the Clinton era beats the Bush era, especially during the period of President George W. Bush. In fact, the Jeb Bush profile is one with which the Clinton people are very comfortable in painting contrast.
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Data: Bush, Rubio in Florida

June 12, 2015 — A new poll of Florida Republicans gives us an early perspective on the largest Republican Winner-Take-All state (99 delegates) and it’s two favorite sons, former Gov. Jeb Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio. The results represent yet a further warning sign for Bush, and could be a prelude for the future.

The St. Leo University Polling Institute from Pasco County went into the field during the May 25-31 period and interviewed 535 Florida adults, 410 of who are judged as likely voters. The Republican and Democratic cell segments are extremely small, however. Only 146 respondents are likely GOP primary voters and 166 reside in the latter political party group. This creates a major error factor in relation to survey conclusions about each party’s nominating situation.

From what information is available, St. Leo’s finds that former Gov. Bush holds a 30-24 percent lead over Sen. Rubio with all other GOP candidates well below the 10 percent threshold.

But the mere six-point lead for the state’s former two-term chief executive hardly tells the full story. In March, the Institute found Bush ahead of Rubio 31-16 percent. Therefore, the senator has gained a net nine points in what could well turn into a two-candidate state race.
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Perry Makes Ten; North Carolina Shaping up as Major Battleground

June 8, 2015 — Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) announced for the presidency last week, becoming the tenth official GOP candidate; more are coming.

Perry will run nationally for the second time. As you will remember, his last campaign ended with him making a major debate gaffe when he couldn’t recall the federal agencies that he was promising to eliminate. In addressing how this campaign will overcome the mistake of the past, Perry former chief of staff and 2012 communications director Ray Sullivan said that “ … people realize that what the governor did in the high-profile debate, stumble, everyone has done as some point in their lives. I think he’s already earned a second look, particularly in Iowa.”

Arguably, had he not self-destructed during the early 2012 stages, Perry may well have defeated Mitt Romney and the rest of the field to become the party nominee. His record as the longest-serving governor in Texas history is strong, and plays well to a Republican primary electorate. He was polling at, or near, the top of the 2012 polls at the time of his well-publicized debate mishap.

The big question for Perry goes beyond whether or not he can repair his reputation from mis-speaking. In the 2012 race, the then-governor raised over $20 million for his campaign effort and considerably more was invested in various super PACs that were supporting him. But, at that time he was the sitting governor of the nation’s second largest state. Now, as a former state chief executive who failed badly in his first presidential run, it is believed his fundraising apparatus will generate far less this time around.
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The Ever-Widening and Tightening Pack of GOP Presidential Candidates

June 4, 2015 — Two national presidential polls were released this week and we continue to see survey results yielding a pack of Republican candidates either tied for, or in close proximity of, the lead. Each hovers around 10-15 percent with no clear path to a majority.

Both the new Washington Post/ABC News (May 28-31; 1,001 adults; 376 registered Democrats; 362 registered Republicans) and CNN/ORC (May 29-31; 1,025 adults) polls tested the national candidates, and though neither survey is particularly sound from a methodological nor practical political perspective, their results are consistent with most other available research.

A national poll of the presidential primaries is not a particularly useful tool because votes are cast on an individual state, and not a national basis. Secondly, the registered voters segmentation for each survey is very small. The Post poll, where only 376 Democrats and 362 Republicans are sampled for their views and attitudes about primary candidates and ballot tests, possesses a high unreliability factor. The CNN survey tests 483 Republicans and 433 Democrats. This is a better sample draw, but not substantially. Third, and again particularly pronounced in the Post poll, the sample skews highly negative. In fact, all tested candidates have unfavorable personal ratings, which is not consistent with other known data.
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The Lindsey Graham Factor

June 3, 2015 — South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham (R) officially entered the presidential contest Monday, with many questioning why he is running. Barely registering in any poll outside of his native South Carolina, the new Graham campaign must be rated as a long shot at best. But, looking at the possibility of a brokered convention changes the dynamics for he and other second tier candidates.

As the Republican field continues to expand – Graham’s candidacy now means nine individuals are official GOP candidates – the aggregate campaign direction becomes less predictable. In addition to the nine contenders, six more potential candidates including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, are poised to soon make formal declarations. Two of them, ex-Texas Gov. Rick Perry and businessman Donald Trump, have scheduled June 4 and 16 announcement dates, respectively.

The larger the campaign field with no sustained front runner means the odds of anyone failing to secure support from a majority of the 2,470 Republican delegates (1,236 delegate votes are required for nomination) are much greater. Thus, a candidate such as Graham, who is not viewed as a serious contender for the nomination but has potential to win some delegates, can become an important factor in deciding exactly who will be the nominee.
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