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Friday, November 11, 2005

An Early Poll on 2008

Posted by DavidNYC

I usually don't like posting uber-early polls, especially for something like a presidential election. Imagine the polls in late 2001 - Howard Dean's name wasn't even a glimmer. But I sorta like this WSJ poll because of the inverse question it asks. Right now, you can find the poll at the top of Polling Report's (free) Election 2008 page, or on p. 12-13 of this PDF. Here, take a look:

Democratic Primary

Hillary Clinton 41
John Edwards 14
Al Gore 12
John Kerry 10
Joe Biden 5
Wesley Clark 4
Bill Richardson 3
Other (vol.) 1
None (vol.) 4
Unsure 6

"Are there any candidates on this list for whom you would definitely NOT vote for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination?"

Al Gore 17
John Kerry 14
Hillary Clinton 13
Wesley Clark 9
Joe Biden 6
Bill Richardson 4
John Edwards 3
None (vol.) 31
Unsure 13

Republican Primary

Rudy Giuliani 34
John McCain 31
Newt Gingrich 8
Bill Frist 5
Mitt Romney 3
George Allen 3
Sam Brownback 1
Other (vol.) 2
None (vol.) 2
Unsure 11

"Are there any candidates on this list for whom you would definitely NOT vote for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination?"

Newt Gingrich 21
John McCain 19
Rudy Giuliani 8
Bill Frist 5
Mitt Romney 3
Sam Brownback 2
George Allen 1
None (vol.) 26
Unsure 17

Hmm. That's the funny thing about blogging - you can change your mind in the middle of writing a post. I realized something about the methdology that actually makes me dislike this poll. I had thought that this poll would give an interesting window into the negative side of this campaign - ie, who's really disliked. And it does, but only a bit.

The problem is that for the "whom would you vote for" questions, respondents were only allowed to name one person. But for the "whom would you NOT vote for" questions, survey subjects were permitted to name as many people as they liked. That makes the two sets of numbers basically impossible to compare.

I actually think that the multiple-choice method is better, this far out, so I'd like to see it applied to the positive question, too - that is, let people name as many candidates as they'd consider voting for. And if you want greater granularity, the pollster could divide up answer based on intensity of preference - in other words, ask people how strongly they feel about the people they say they might vote for.

Anyhow, I'd like to let WSJ/NBC take a mulligan on this one and come back with some better answers next time. How 'bout it?

Posted at 06:34 PM in 2008 Election - President | Technorati

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Where's Feingold? I keep hearing rumors that he'll take a stab at the '08 Dem nomination, yet his name doesn't seem to come up in any poll.

Posted by: Cameron Kissel [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 12, 2005 03:47 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Good question, Cameron. The pollsters were working from a list here - the responses were not purely volunteered. I guess, though, if you want to limit your list, you have to draw the line somewhere, and Feingold is definitely no more prominent than the least prominent names on that list.

Posted by: DavidNYC [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 12, 2005 06:24 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I think what this poll, and several others like it, show is the real bind the Republicans find themselves in -- their most popular and probably most electable candidates never will be able to get the party nomination. McCain has pissed too many people off (even though he's spent the last couple of years sucking up as much as possible), and he's someone they cannot control. Rudy never, even will win the nomination due to his moderate to at-times liberal stands on social issues. Who does that leave them? Newt? Bill Frist, who cannot even control a Senate majority? My guess is, for the first time in decades, they are going to have to go outside of a small pool of well-known frontrunners. This is very new for them. Remember, Democrats tend to canabalize their frontrunners, Republicans tend to nominate them.

Posted by: IndianaProgressive [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 13, 2005 11:36 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Indiana, I'm thinking a Virginian other than Mark Warner is likely to be considered appealing by Republicans who want to bridge the interests of God and Mammon....and that's Senator George Allen (provided he wins re-election next year). Also, I wouldn't underestimate the ability of McCain and Giuliani to appeal to enough moderate Republicans and Independent GOP primary voters (where that's allowed) to overwhelm a divided right wing. The only thing helpful too us here is that the moderates themselves would be divided between McCain and Giuliani. But if either one of these guys drops out of the race before primary time, expect the other to have a great chance of winning the Iowa caucus and then scoring an overwhelming victory in New Hampshire. If that happens, a McCain or Giuliani candidacy isn't as far-fetched as us Dems like to hope it is.

Posted by: Mark [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 13, 2005 01:33 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Mark -- I agree that Senator Allen might not be a bad choice for a betting person to put some money down on (and despite last Tuesday and a potential Webb candidacy, I don't think he's in serious trouble of not winning another term). I certainly don't disagree with a scenario like you spell out to have McCain or Giulani win the nomination -- but remember how much more tightly controlled the GOP nomination process is than the Dems, and the right (and especially the anti-abortion folks, if it's Rudy) would go absolutely ape-shit if either of them got close to the nomination. But, even if your scenario plays out, I don't think we should be as terrified of either of those guys as some Dems seem to be -- why do I feel that especially Rudy might have a lot of questionable stuff come tumbling out under the glare of a national campaign (including just how much money he's made since leaving office).

Posted by: IndianaProgressive [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 13, 2005 09:00 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment