Polls, Iowa 2012
In looking at polling numbers, weighted averages, and predictions, I gravitate to three sites: Huffington Post Pollster (1.36%), RealClearPolitics (1.16%), and FiveThirtyEight (1.30%), along with these aggregate trackers I also keep my eye on two direct pollsters: Survey USA (0.96%) and Public Policy Polling* (1.04%).
Of all the aggregators, I trust Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight.com, because he lays out all the data for us serfs in geekdom to bask over. Since I don’t have the time to create my own system, I can see how he ranking certain firms to see if I would adjust my own predictors.
In the following list of numbers, you will see:
Candidate – Huffington Post Pollster Weekly Average (Weekly Range); Real Clear Politics Average (Weekly Range); FiveThirtyEight Projected Vote (Vote Range); Public Policy Polling 1/2/12 Final Poll – FiveThirtyEight Change of Winning (My Weekly Trend Rating)
Ron Paul – 19.1 (17.3-22.4); 21.5 (21-22); 21.0 (11-31); 20 – 34% (–)
Mitt Romney – 22.2 (19-23.7); 22.8 (19-25); 21.8 (12-32); 19 – 42% (++)
Rick Santorum – 17.1 (11.2-15.8); 16.3 (15-18); 19.3 (10-29); 18 – 20% (+++++)
Newt Gingrich – 12.9 (13-16.8); 13.7 (12-16); 15.1 (7-24); 14 – 3% (—-)
Rick Perry – 11.5 (10.1-12.3); 11.5 (10-14); 10.4 (4-18); 10 – 0% (+)
Michele Bachmann – 8.3 (6.2-9.8); 6.8 (5-8); 7.9 (2-15); 8 – 0% (-)
If WordPress gave me more to work with, I could offer up some awesome graphs rather than a vomit list of numbers, but, actually, the list of numbers in this manner do show us some trends.
First, Santorum has weekly ranges that come in less than he most recent poll.
That is quite the upswing at just the right time. We have had 4 candidates gain strong momentum, quadruple their support, become the frontrunner, and implode like a dying star all in the span of a month. This may happen with Santorum (likely), but if you are going to ride a wave, this is the time to do it – not in August.
Second, Romney continues to hover at his 20-25%.
This has been his watermark and it has been unmovable. In this environment, it may be all he needs. This is especially true when you look at his numbers right now in New Hampshire.
Third, the Iowa win is boiled down to a three-horse race.
I am not sure if I leave it 42-34-20, as Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight.com puts it, because of the volatility of three candidates trends and their supporters. Paul pulls in independent libertarians that are not consistent in their voting patterns, Romney is slightly ticking up, and Santorum is meteoric. Will Bachmann voters stay with her knowing that massive statement it would make if just a quarter of them went for Santorum?
These are the current polling numbers; only interesting to above 5% of people who follow politics, which means about 0.5% of the general population. So, I’m sure you have enjoyed reading this as much as I have putting it together.
*PPP is a known Democratic polling firm, but has been reputable for its accuracy in its public polls. I consistency disregard Rasmussen Reports (2.50%), not because they are widely known to be a Republican firm – a charge they continue to deny – but because they were 2.5% off the results in the same (and only) study on polling predictor accuracy from the last five years I could find.