Sept. 28, 2015 — A new Bloomberg Politics poll conducted by Iowa-based Selzer & Company (Sept. 18-21; 1,001 adults) at least partially explains Donald Trump’s apparent sudden appeal. The poll asks pointed questions about how the respondents perceive various issues, and the results provide supporting data as to why Trump’s message is striking chords with many prospective voters.
In a previous update, we discussed the Bloomberg/Selzer Democratic primary ballot test (375 likely Democratic primary voters – a sample too small to adequately draw national conclusions). This new data reveals that a bare majority would now choose a Dem candidate other than former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Additionally, their underlying issue questions provide us a relatively sound base from which to analyze potential voting patterns.
The key questions surround America’s greatness, a subject that has become the theme of Trump’s national campaign. From his slogan “let’s make America great again”, it becomes obvious that Trump no longer thinks the country is heading toward its apex. According to the Bloomberg/Selzer data, the majority of respondents share that opinion. Their question is reproduced below, with response percentages in adjoining parenthesis:
Do you think the United States today is:
• Greater than it has ever been (6%)
• Equally great as it has been in the past (20%)
• Falling behind (47%)
• Failing (25%)
• Not sure (2%)
Sept. 25, 2015 — Possessing fewer than three million inhabitants, the small state of Utah will command a unique position at the Republican National Convention. As one of only seven Winner-Take-All states, plus the four small territories that will also cast their entire slate (9 delegates apiece) for an individual candidate, the Beehive State delegation (40 delegates) is key to helping determine who becomes the Republican presidential nominee.
Yesterday, state Republican chairman James Evans upped the ante. He suggested that favorite son and 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney could still be nominated next year even if he doesn’t enter the Republican primaries. How? A deadlocked convention could turn to him.
We have discussed the possibility of the Republicans going to a brokered convention for several months. With Donald Trump now the race leader and demonstrating that he can pull in the 30 percent neighborhood, there is little way the international businessman could cobble together a 50 percent coalition. Accounting for polls revealing that at least a quarter of the Republican electorate will vote against him under any circumstance, it becomes mathematically unfeasible for Trump to claim a first ballot victory. And, if Trump can’t get there with a support level greater than any other candidate, then who can?
Sept. 23, 2015 — The rise and fall of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker ultimately proved meteoric in both directions. After rising to the top of the Republican presidential heap earlier in the year, the nominal former front-runner yesterday departed the presidential race.
His decline, largely at the hands of current GOP front-runner Donald Trump, was as far and fast as his original ascension. All recent polls positioned him dropping to three percent or below, about 1/6th the size of his original support base, but the latest CNN/ORC survey (Sept. 17-19; 924 national registered voters; 444 likely Republican primary voters) portended rock bottom. The CNN study revealed that Walker failed to even record a percentage point.
How does Walker leaving the race affect the remaining candidates? If he has his way, others would follow his lead exiting the contest in order to allow those with the true ability to overtake Trump and unify the conservative movement the opportunity to do so.
Walker’s mistakes did not occur on the actual campaign trail. Rather, they were strategic and administrative in nature. Waiting too long to officially enter the race, failing to stand out at the debates, and spending too much money on staff overhead proved to be his downfall even though he uttered only minor public gaffes.
Sept. 22, 2015 — Two national media polls were released this weekend. Though the methodologies employed in each survey were very different, both arrived at remarkably similar conclusions.
NBC News ran an online survey and CNN/ORC conducted one of their regular research studies of the post-debate national Republican electorate. The two found confirmation of what was developing before the debate – the trio of never-elected Republicans: Donald Trump, Dr. Ben Carson, and businesswoman Carly Fiorina attracting more than bare majority support – also happening after the forum.
According to NBC Online, 54 percent of the GOP primary voting sample chose one of the non-politicians. The top elected or former elected official, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, scored a mere eight percent. CNN/ORC reported a similar finding: 53 percent, with one elected official, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, actually breaking into double-digits at 11 percent.
NBC developed their 5,113 person polling sample with SurveyMonkey on Sep. 16-18, from a pool of more than the three million people who answer SurveyMonkey questions each day. The NBC officials classify this as a “non-probability survey” that was demographically weighted with data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. Of the 5,113 adult sample, 2,070 are registered or self-identified Republican voters. The reported GOP segment ballot test responses follow:
Sept. 21, 2015 — West Texas Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-Lubbock) became the fifth House member this month to announce his retirement, making public his decision yesterday. The congressman is not exercising his prerogative to seek an eighth term in the House, and will end his congressional career when the legislative session concludes at the beginning of 2017.
Neugebauer was first elected in a 2003 special election, replacing resigned-Rep. Larry Combest (R-Lubbock) who had left the House mid-term from his agriculture dominated district. Combest was the former chairman of the House Agriculture Committee when he retired from Congress.
Neugebauer, previously a Lubbock City Councilman, won a difficult special election in a very different 19th CD. At the time, both the cities of Lubbock and Midland were housed in the same CD. Neugebauer defeated Midland businessman Mike Conaway (R) in that election, but the latter would then win his current post-redistricting 11th District in 2004. Conaway is now the current House Agriculture Committee chairman.
The same redistricting plan that elected Conaway forced the just-elected Neugebauer into a district with 13-term Rep. Charlie Stenholm (D-Abilene). But, the new boundary configuration was not kind to the veteran Democrat, and the freshman handily defeated him 58-40 percent. Rep. Neugebauer would never again experience a close election.