Some of these polls matter more than the others

And to make it a fourth post today about U.S. politics: Polling data.

Yes, more polls were released. There’s always polls being released, you should know that by now. South Carolina, Florida and Michigan were the states being reported on for both the Democrats and the Republicans (well, mostly).

South Carolina first, and the most important (in my opinion). InsiderAdvantge released a poll that had Barack Obama up with a 7 point lead. Rasmussen released a poll that had Obama up with a 12 point lead (42 to 30) – a new trend (double figure lead for Obama) for South Carolina polls. This gives Obama an average lead of 13 points on the polls. I think that this average is inflated – some of the feed polls had data gained from the Iowa fallout. A fallout that seems to have inflate the polls somewhat if the New Hampshire results are anything to go by. However, the InsideAdvantage and Rasmussen polls have come out after the New Hampshire results, which is encouraging for Obama’s campaign.

For the Republicans, immediately after the Iowa results, Mike Huckabee was between 7 points and 17 points ahead in the polls. When New Hampshire came along, and John McCain won, new polls from South Carolina indicate that indeed the Mac is back. The first poll, from Fox News (accurate because of the Republican viewers), has a 7 point lead on the polls (25 to 18). Rasmussen has McCain leading by just 3 points (27 to 24). Both of these leads are against Huckabee. Mitt Romney ranks in third, and has figures in the teens.

Michigan, and there is only data for the Republicans. Rossman Group let out a poll that has Huckabee with a 1 point lead against Romney (23 to 22). McCain is third with 18 points. Strategic Vision has a poll out that gives McCain a 9 point lead, ahead of Romney, in Michigan (29 to 20). What’s important to note is that both the Rossman Group and the Strategic Vision polls came out after the New Hampshire vote. This state is too hard to pick a winner in by the past few polls, and the Iowa and New Hampshire results.

Florida, and both parties have polling data to report on. For the Republicans, thanks to InsiderAdvantage, finally we see the name Rudy Giuliani pop up. And first – a 5 point lead against Huckabee and McCain (24 to 19 to 19). Romney comes in fourth on 13 points. Nothing overly interesting here – except for the fact that Huckabee and McCain are are second and not Romney. Giuliani has been running a ‘big state’ strategy from the start, ignoring the early ones which don’t have that many delegates. The only problem is that he hasn’t been on the news at all, and people, pundits, and television stations alike have written him off already. A bad strategy in my books. But who knows how this will work out. Not just Giuliani but the whole Republican primary race.

For Democrats in Florida, and another InsiderAdvantage poll has Clinton with an 8 point lead over Obama (40 to 32). If the state doesn’t count, it will hurt Obama more than it hurts Clinton. The Iowa momentum has put him within striking distance – and he will run really close with Clinton if he wins South Carolina. If he ran close, or won, in Nevada too, then Florida could be a surprise victory for Obama. This is why Florida not counting hurts Obama more than Clinton. Clinton has New York locked up (in all likelihood), so Obama needed to win a couple of ‘big states’ to counter that.

Anyway, interesting times ahead. Very interesting.

Oh, and something that wasn’t reported on at all: On January 5 (along with Iowa), Wyoming held its Republican primary vote. Mitt Romney won the popular vote with 67%, beating out Fred Thompson (25%), and *shudder* Duncan Hunter (8%). 8, 3, and 1 were the delegate handouts. For reference, the delegate count is as follows:

  • Mitt Romney: 30
  • Mike Huckabee: 21
  • John McCain: 10
  • Fred Thompson: 6
  • Ron Paul: 2
  • Rudy Giuliani: 1
  • Duncan Hunter: 1

This is after some of the unpledged delegates have promised their votes. Not nearly as many as the Democrats, but still, it’s created a very interesting race.



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