Sunday, August 30, 2015

As August 2015 Ends, Some Campaign Numbers And Observations

There's a rather well-detailed survey from Gannett news services - the Des Moines Register and Bloomberg Politics - covering the Iowa polling for both Democrats and Republicans during the last week of August.

As always, the numbers are not truly indicative of how the votes will go even in the state of Iowa, and there are always statistical anomalies to consider, but these are the numbers worth discussing:

Obama is there as a measuring comparison (he is firmly popular with the Democratic base).  Biden is a hypothetical popular choice, while Sanders has only gone upward in the favorability.  Hillary has dropped by eleven points but she's still over 3/4ths of the polling numbers.  The only one truly suffering in this is O'Malley: Chafee and Webb never had a chance, but O'Malley did and he's mired at 33 percent favorable (with a massive amount of Unsure).

I had to break the Republican polling down to three screenshots:

Jeb did not improve much... his unfavorable are higher than his favorable, never a good sign, and there's little room to add from the Unsure pile.
Ben Carson's numbers have gone upward to 79 percent at the top of the list: other risers are Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, and Bobby Jindal.  Huckabee's favorable remains high.  Graham and Christie are going nowhere.
 Kasich's numbers are improved but nowhere near the top tier: he still has too many Unsures not making up their minds on him.
Pataki and Gilmore might as well give up and hope for a Veep offer.
 Rand Paul is the one losing the most in this round of polling by the looks of it.  Walker remains healthy in polling and Santorum is hanging in there.  The marked improvement is with Trump, who switched his unfavorable in May (63 percent) to a favorable in August (61 percent).

This poll is where things get scary: Iowan Republicans' First Choice/Second Choice options, if they really had to get down to a primary vote.

Trump leads in First Choice at a whopping 23 percent.  Carson is next at 18 percent.  No other candidate - not Jeb or Walker or Rubio or even Cruz - breaks into double-digit numbers there.  Second choice is Carson at 14 percent, with Fiorina at 11 percent and then Cruz at 10.  Combined, Trump and Carson tie it at 32 percent, with Cruz in third at 18 percent, Walker at 17 percent, and Fiorina in fifth place at 16 percent.

Let's rehash.  The top two choices for Republicans are candidates who have never served an elected office or an appointed executive office.  Three of the top five never served an elected office or appointed executive office.  One of the remaining top five is a known rabble-rouser who disrupts his own party's political ranks as a neophyte rookie Senator.  The only "traditional" candidate with any campaign/elective experience is Walker (as Governor).

Jeb! Bush is nowhere in the Top Five.  He's not even popular as a Second Choice.  (under normal circumstances a lot of people would be calling on him to drop out of the race to let a higher polling candidate pick up the needed support...)

If you're wondering about the Democrats, here's their numbers for choices:

This is with Biden in the list (not having officially announced yet).  Hillary leads no matter what at 37 as a First Choice and as a combined choice (60 percent) while Bernie is a clear second at 30 percent First Choice and 50 percent combined.  It's pretty much a two-way race.  Throwing in Biden (14 percent First/38 percent combined) does little to change those numbers.  Taking him out of the choices still gives Hillary the lead and Bernie the chaser.

The Democrats do not have any candidate lacking in elected / political experience.

I just want to mention one other thing: as I noted about Moderates/Centrists, one of the consistent values of such voters is respect for experience/competency for the job.  The Republicans may well love the idea of a pure Outsider like Trump or Carson rising up to take the nomination, but will that translate into support for such an inexperienced candidate in a general election where Moderate/Centrist voters are needed for winning?

I ask: which party should be more worried right about now?

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