Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Iowa Polls:
Fourth Week of December

 The Dems: Only one poll tracking Iowa has been registered since last week, and it gave good news to O'Malley and Clinton, both taking a few points from Sanders. Overall, the relative positions remain steady, with Clinton holding on to a double digit lead over Sanders, while O'Malley trails far behind, still hoping to get ahead of None of the Above.

The GOP: My standard operating procedure is to track the candidates who are doing better than the None of the Above average, and I will admit to fudging those rules in two cases. I should ignore O'Malley on the Democratic side and should give some credit to Jeb:(, who is now at 5%, slightly above the 4.6% number for None of the Above number for December. Here are my reasons for the inconsistencies.

1. On the Democratic side, there is so little data to track, adding O'Malley to the mix doesn't make the graph any harder to read.

2. Jeb:( is not making a surge, the NotA has taken a plunge. Jeb:( has actually gone down, from 5.5% in November to 5.0% in December, not even half the very weak numbers of The Completely Sane and Honest Ben Carson.

As for the leaders, the news gets better and better for the two de facto front runners, Donald Trump and Ted 'The Snake' Cruz, while Rubio and Carson are slipping slightly.

This will be the last report on the blog in 2015 and on Sunday the 3 of January the weekly reports will begin again. I wish all my readers a Happy New Year and the polling starts to get serious, especially in the first two states to report.

Monday, December 28, 2015

The New Hampshire polls:
Fourth Week of December

 The GOP: As December winds down, the big change in this graph is the disappearance of The Completely Sane and Honest Ben Carson and the appearance for the first time of John Kasich, marked in light green. As you can see, he hasn't made a big advance, but is now in fifth place and above None of the Above for the time being. Jeb:( is in sixth and might make an appearance next month if his numbers get a little better. Carson is in seventh now and his only good news is that nobody below him looks primed for a run.

The Dems: Only one new polls since the last time the info was posted and it showed Hillary with a small lead. Sanders still has the lead in the polling average for the month.

Tomorrow: the monthly averages from Iowa polling.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

The National Polls:
Fourth Week of December

 Non-politicians vs politicians: This week, I start with graph of the sum of Trump/Carson/Fiorina vs. Everybody Else, ignoring the None of the Above. You don't have to be a fan of the original Ghostbusters to see that The Streams Have Crossed. Technically, the non-politicians have the slenderest of leads at 50.1% to 49.9%, but you get the idea. As of now, Donald Trump is THE non-politician. Ben Carson is in fourth place nationally, but he is re-defining the term "campaign in disarray", while Carly Fiorina's numbers are in the Old Dead Animal category.

 The GOP: Here is how I look at this graph.

1. Donald Trump is obviously leading, but I don't know what the ceiling of his upward trend is, or even if the trend is truly still upward.

2. Ted 'The Snake' Cruz has a true upward trend. I can't say that with certainty about anybody else whose numbers are above the None of the Above threshold.

3. The Completely Sane and Honest Ben Carson is still falling, though the rate of change this week was less than worst tumbles this month.

Here's what I know about the stuff I don't show.

1. Chris Christie and Jeb:( are in a flat-footed tie for fifth/sixth place. The Christie camp should spin this as good news. The Jeb:( camp... I have no idea how bad things are there, and I worked at failed start-ups in Silicon Valley back in the day.

The Dems: No real change from last week worth mentioning. I get the feeling Iowa is going to be much more important to the Democratic nomination that it will be to the Republicans, unless Trump takes an absolute pounding.

Tomorrow, the New Hampshire numbers.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The Iowa Polls: Third week of December

 The GOP: Starting with the Republicans in Iowa, so far the most interesting contest. Ted Cruz leads Donald Trump in the polling, but Iowa is a tricky place to poll because likely caucus attendees are very hard to find. With this low turnout, the polls even in the last week before the contest can be way off. That said, Iowa is about energizing your supporters and have a good organization on the ground. Trump had no trouble with the first part, but reporters are saying it is really hard to find Trump organizers. Maybe he's trying some Just In Time hiring practices, or maybe this is just another of his many flaws as a businessman.

Here are the changes in the numbers from the previous December averages.

Cruz: up 1.4 percentage points
Trump: up 1.1 percentage points
Rubio: up 0.1 percentage points
Carson: down 1.1 percentage points
None of the Above: down 1.4 percentage points

As you can see, the sum of these five categories have changed only a little, so there hasn't been much movement in the numbers of the folks not mentioned here. The Completely Sane and Honest Ben Carson is in serious free fall, but so is None of the Above. Jeb:( is now above None of the Above, but only slightly. If he has another good week and NotA stays low, he might get on the graph as his Festivus present.

The Dems: All the candidates went up from last week, taking their votes from the None of the Above voters.

Hillary: up 0.6 percentage points
Bernie: up 0.3 percentage points
None of the Above: down 1.1 percentage points
O'Malley: up 0.2 percentage points

The gap isn't closing for Sanders, but once again, I have to say Iowa is a caucus state and by their nature, they are tough to predict. I have no idea how well organized the two main candidates are in Iowa, but they are pros and I expect they have boots on the ground in sufficient numbers. The big question will be supporter enthusiasm and that means Bernie has a chance to surprise.

More numbers next week.

Monday, December 21, 2015

The New Hampshire polls:
Third Week of December

The GOP: The slope graph shows the change in polling averages from November to December, but I am also going to list the change in the December average from week to week.

Trump +1.2
Cruz +1.0
Rubio +0.3
Carson -0.8
Christie +0.4
None of the Above:-1.8

Since I am supposed to be tracking the candidates above the None of the Above threshold, it's time to say goodbye to The Completely Sane and Honest Ben Carson. This chart shows him in fifth, but as of the latest polls, he is now in seventh, trailing Jeb:( and John Kasich. Barring a miracle, his numbers will not be part of the picture next week in New Hampshire, though he does remain in fourth place in Iowa and well ahead of the guys jockeying for fifth.

The Dems: Bernie Sanders had a good week, extending his lead over Hillary.

Sanders +3.0
Clinton +1.0
None of the Above -2.5
O'Malley -1.5

Of course, Iowa comes before New Hampshire and a good showing in the caucuses will effect the campaign coverage at the very least. A view of both races in The Hawkeye State tomorrow.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

The national polls:
Third Week of December

 The GOP: Hanukkah has come and gone and so has the drought of polling data. There were only three polls each in the last week of November and the first week of December, but the last two weeks have had plenty of data and the message is simple.

Tropical Depression Trump is reaching hurricane force and only Ted 'The Snake' Cruz is making any headway.

Politicians vs Non-politicians: This particular graph is meaning less and less as time goes on, as Fiorina is still on a slow slide after her spectacular crash and Carson is still mid-spectacular crash. I think it might make more sense to start tracking Trump vs. The Next Three, because this week for the first time he is out-polling Cruz, Rubio and Carson combined.

(Note: for anyone terrified that sanity cannot prevail, the state level polls in Hew Hampshire and Iowa tell a different story.)

The Dems:  Not nearly as much drama in the national polls for the Democratic nomination, though like the GOP, there is some drama in the polls for the early state races.  As you might guess, all these polls are prior to the debate last night.

Tomorrow: the polls from New Hampshire.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Iowa Polls: Second week of December

The Dems: Hillary Clinton's undeniable lead in the national polls is not enough for her to be leading in New Hampshire, but in Iowa it's another story. That said, I noticed a pattern in 2011-2012 that as primaries got closer to actually happening, the numbers could change dramatically as more of the electorate would be paying attention. Is this good or bad for Hillary? Let's look at the three numbers we have at the moment.

National polls: Clinton +25.1%
New Hampshire polls: Sanders +4%
Iowa polls: Clinton +15.8%

This small sample size says more scrutiny is not a good thing for Hillary and can give the Sanders fans some hope. As for O'Malley supporters, the numbers right now say... m'eh.

The GOP: As anyone paying attention knows, I'm putting up all the data on the declared candidates and None of the Above in the Democratic race, but I am not showing the lesser candidates among the GOP. In Iowa, all the dramatic changes are here, as Trump, Rubio and everyone not mentioned have changed less than a percentage point up or down, while three numbers visible on the chart have made big changes.

Cruz: up 12.2 points
Carson: down 8.4 points
None of the Above: down 2.7 points

The net effect looks like lots of Iowans are changing their minds and their new choice is Ted 'The Snake' Cruz. Of course, Trump is apoplectic about the bad news. I would not put it past Trump to simply buy a few thousand eligible Iowans for some single day payment in the $100 range to boost his numbers, though it will make his true believers feel like saps for showing up for free.

Making people feel like saps is standard operating procedure for Trump, so I don't think he'll lose any sleep over it.

More news next week.

Monday, December 14, 2015

The New Hampshire polls: Second week of December

Welcome to the first installment of state poll watching, in particular New Hampshire. Sometimes, dominance in the national polls does not translate into dominance in every state poll, as we will see today and tomorrow, when we look at the Iowa numbers.

On the Republican side, Donald Trump does have a lead in the Granite State, though not quite as dominant as his lead nationwide, and it's Marco Rubio in second. Ben Carson's fall from grace in New Hampshire is much steeper than his national slippage and he is currently hovering below the None of the Above numbers.

Chris Christie is currently in fourth in New Hampshire and just barely behind Ted 'The Snake' Cruz, much better than his anemic national numbers putting him in sixth place, barely in the lead of the group hovering around 3%.

Not shown on the chart are Jeb:(, tied with Carson at 7.3%, and Kasich, polling at 7%. They aren't part of the picture because they haven't been above None of the Above either in November or December. If they improve, they could be included in the overall picture.

And then we have the Democrats, where we see our first inversion. Bernie Sanders is in the lead this month, though that only means two polls so far. (The paucity of polls is the reason I'm going with the monthly picture. This might change in January.) I can't predict if the press will give Sanders more coverage if he wins and makes it a horse race - the press loves horse races- or if they will accept the conventional wisdom that winning in New Hampshire is not a surprise because he's from Vermont. I think it will be the former, and if he pulls off a win in Iowa as well, then the press will run with the "Hillary's in trouble" meme for sure.

What's Bernie's situation in Iowa? Stop by tomorrow to find out.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

National polls: Second week of December

 Politicians vs. non-politicians: The two weeks prior to this had only three polls each. This week has nine polls. Given that much data, I think we can spot some trends.

The advantage the non-politicians (Trump, Carson, Fiorina) have over the rest of the GOP field shrunk a little. Given Carson's extended slump and Fiorina's hovering around 3%, I think these numbers could tighten up even more. Of course, Trump is still getting good news in the polls, but so are Cruz, Rubio and occasionally some of the folks in the back of the pack, notably Chris Christie in New Hampshire.

I would also like to say I predicted in mid-November that the advantage for non-politicians would continue a downward turn by Chanukah, and now that it's Chanukah, I can a small victory in a very mild prediction.

The GOP: There is some jockeying for second place, but Donald Trump is still the national leader. For the first time, Ted 'The Snake' Cruz is in second all by himself, Marco Rubio in third and Ben Carson is in fourth. I would not be surprised to see Carson slip under the None of the Above threshold by the middle of next month, if not sooner. (Count this as a prediction made.) To give a sneak preview of the features starting this week, his numbers in Iowa are bad and his trend in New Hampshire actually sucks.

The Dems: If we ignore the last two weeks due to small sample size, right now the national trends are minimal, Hillary and Bernie down slightly, None of the Above and O'Malley up, but also just slightly.

New features this week: It is my experience from 2011-12 that the national polls give a rough idea, but the state polls are where the real action is.  Accordingly, I will be publishing three times a week starting tomorrow.

Sundays: Still the same stuff I've been doing since August, national poll averages for the week for the GOP and Dems, as well as tracking the Non-politicians vs. politicians on the Republican side.

Mondays: Monthly averages for the top candidates in New Hampshire in both parties.

Tuesdays: Monthly averages for the top candidates in Iowa in both parties.

As a teaser, I can say that each state has bad news for at least one front runner.

Tune in tomorrow!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Post #19: The beginning of December

The post last week was based on only three polls and the same is true this week, though obviously three different polls. Nearly every big jump or big drop has had a course correction. We start with the Non-politicians advantage over the politicians, which appears to have stopped its slide for the time being. I think the trend will continue to slip over the next few weeks because both Carson's and Fiorina's numbers have been deflating over time. How long the love affair with Donald Trump lasts is anybody's guess, but he may very soon be doing all the heavy lifting.

The GOP: Donald Trump had a big jump last week, but came back down. His general trend is still positive.

Ben Carson plummeted last week, but he came back up. His general trend is still negative, but he is back in second place, with Ted "The Snake" Cruz in third and Marco Rubio in fourth. Jeb:( is still in fifth at around 6%. No one in the lower tier is above 3% this week. I speculated Mike Huckabee might make a run if Carson's numbers slipped, but his numbers just sit there like an old dead animal. I don't know how anyone now polling less than Jeb:( is going to make their mark in the next two months, and anyone who stinks the place out in both Iowa and New Hampshire is pretty much toast.

The one thing that makes me trust this week's three polls over last week's three polls is that None of the Above also bounced back. The big drop was due to a poll that said the undecided vote was at -2%. This is the perfect example of why I like more polls on which to base a weekly average, mainly to give the outliers less power. That said, Trump's alleged slump is based on a single outlier as well. We may not have seen Peak Trump yet.

The Dems: Once again, big changes that were shown in the graph last Sunday leveled out some this week. Hillary's peak performance came back down, but she still is well above 50% in the national average. Bernie had a good week and Martin O'Malley is back to polling under None of the Above. I cannot say with any confidence what the actual percentages for each candidate are, but I am convinced the relative positions - Hillary leading, Sanders second, O'Malley under None of the Above - are accurate.

Another update next week.