Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Prez Polling: Paint by Numbers

So yesterday I received a "strategery" memo from Brent Seaborn, Strategy Director for the Giuliani campaign, which was filled with useful polling information. Here are some highlights:
As it stands today, Senator McCain's support in national public polling has recovered somewhat. His national average has increased about 5 points from his summer low of about 10% according to the Real Clear Politics average. Still, it seems that McCain is capped at approximately 18% or 19% of Republican primary vote share as the field now stands.

Voters responded to Fred Thompson's September entry into the GOP Primary race with a smaller-than-expected announcement bounce. Typically an announcement will generate about a 10 point bounce. Senator Thompson's bounce ranged from zero points to 8 points, but averaged less than 4 points - certainly not what was expected for a campaign that spent so much time preparing to get in the race.

Mitt Romney's campaign spent more than $30 million during the first 2 quarters of 2007 and outspent others by $9 million or more. Nationally, the Romney campaign has spent $8 million on television and radio advertisements. And Romney's Iowa Straw Poll victory had a likely price tag of more than $4 million. Romney's campaign has spent nearly $2 million on television in New Hampshire and more than $1 million in South Carolina and Florida. In the 3rd quarter of 2007 alone, Governor Romney will have put more than $5 million of ads on the air.
And using the helpful Real Clear Politics primary polling averages, which as of today shows the Mayor leading his primary rivals by 7.3% nationally, Seaborn shows how Rudy would be the most electable Republican in the general election, particulary if Hillary Clinton is the Dem nominee (which is pretty much a foregone conclusion):

National polling head-to-head averages on Real Clear Politics show Mayor Giuliani running approximately 8 points stronger than Mitt Romney and about 5 points stronger than Fred Thompson against Clinton in the general election.

In reviewing states with public polls testing hypothetical general election match-ups, Mayor Giuliani runs 6 to 7 points stronger than Fred Thompson against Hillary Clinton. In the most recent state general election polling, Mayor Giuliani beats Hillary Clinton in swing Republican states of Arizona, Colorado, Missouri and Nevada.

More importantly, the Mayor puts blue states like Connecticut, New Jersey, Wisconsin, California, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Washington in play. Pat Toomey, President of the Club for Growth, states that "If Giuliani wins the nomination, he would be a fascinating candidate in that he really re-draws the map." Toomey points out that Giuliani could carry New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania ‘"so he changes the political calculus of the Electoral College dramatically." And Mayor Giuliani may be the only Republican candidate that can now compete and win in Ohio against Hillary Clinton.

Now, as to how Rudy is doing in the primary, below is a map I created showing where we stand in each state holding a primary on or before Super Tuesday (Feb. 5, 2008). For states that Real Clear Politics has formed a polling average for, I've used that average in showing who's leading in that state. Otherwise, I used the last poll conducted in that state in the past year. If no polling data exist, I simply put in the number of delegates in play in those states. In addition, two states, Wyoming and West Virginia, will only have some of their delegates chosen by then.

Now as the map shows, Romney is doing well in the earliest of primary states, such as Iowa, New Hampshire, and Michigan. However, once states such as California, Florida, New York, and New Jersey hold their primaries, which will be in a matter of days after the IA/NH/MI contests, we will see the Mayor become the clear favorite after Super Tuesday.

In order for Rudy to win the primary, he needs 1,230 out of 2,458 delegates at the national convention. Using the most current polling data, after Super Tuesday, here's the number of delegates each candidate will have:

Giuliani: 722 (over half way there to winning the nomination)
Thompson: 221
Romney: 196
McCain: 71
Huckabee: 34
Unknown: 110

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