Saturday, November 11, 2006


November Edition

It's that time of the month again, as I received my email notification of a new GOP straw poll.
Longtime readers to this blog, and I know that there are a couple of you, know that I'm a big fan of these polls. With the midterms finally over, we should be seeing an adjustment on who is a part of these polls, but for now, they basically have the same roster of candidates with one big exclusion (see below).

Before I get down the latest nitty-gritty, I will, as always, lay down the structure of the poll:There is a list of 11 candidates and there are three choices for each candidate; first choice, acceptable and unacceptable. Voters could only vote for one "first choice" but multiple "acceptable" or "unacceptable" results. Based on the ratings that those who took the polls gave themselves, there's a fairly strong representation of the very conservative section of the GOP in the poll.The potential candidates in the survey, listed in alphabetical order, are Sam Brownback, Bill Frist, Newt Gingrich, Rudy Giuliani, Chuck Hagel, Mike Huckabee, John McCain, George Pataki, Mitt Romney and Tom Tancredo. At the time of my viewing, there had been 12617 ballots cast. Poll results can be found here.

Please note that George Allen, never the most popular candidate in these things, has been removed from the list of nominees. Given his performance these past few months and his subsequent loss, I believe that jibes with the conventional wisdom that his chances at being president are somewhere around the territory of slim and none. In his place is newcomer Duncan Hunter, a Congressman from California.

It appears that Newt Gingrich and Rudy Giuliani have again swapped places as far as "first choice selection goes. As of my viewing, Newt leads Rudy 26.1% to 24.9%. Both of these numbers are slightly higher than the previous numbers last month (24.2% and 22.7%), which may indicate that some voters are moving towards the "favorites." Romney again finds himself in third place with 20.2%, which mimics similar margins from last month. McCain slightly improved from last month, up from 3.5% to 5.1% - no small feat for the press' favorite Republican among these hardcore right voters. Pataki and Frist again bring up the rear, mirroring last month's results.

Scanning through the "acceptable" results, we find that Romney again holds the top slot with 65.7%, a drop from his 69.3% rating one month before. And while Newt leads among "first choice" selections, Rudy is much stronger in the acceptable area, 64.3% to 61.5%. As has been the case these past months, no candidate comes close to the "Big Three" at this point, with Tom Tancredo a distant fourth at 39.4%. Bringing up the rear are Frist and Pataki, reinforcing their poor first choice showing. Maverick McCain finds himself at 25.6%, a slight rise from October where his number was 22.3% (21% in September). So, while McCain is nowhere near a front runner, he is demonstrating some upward movement over the last couple of months.

Moving to the "unacceptable" category, we find that Bill Frist is clearly the most unpopular pick (having done himself no favors during his time as Majority Leader in the Senate) with 67.8%. Chuck Hagel and George Pataki also rating highly here as both are tied at 64.6%. Last month's top pick, McCain, moves up three notches, this time garnering 61.9% unacceptables, a drop from his 66.2% rating last month. At the bottom is Romney with only 17.5% unacceptables, with Rudy at 20.4% and Newt at 22.4%.

Again taking a glance at my darkhorse, Arkansas governor Mick Huckabee, his first choice votes notched up a bit as he's now at 1.4% (1.1 - October; 1.2 - September) - a miniscule improvement. His acceptables find him at 31.7 (34.2 - October; 37.6 - September), so he's definitely showing much downward movement. This may be a result of a lack of name recognition as he was not up for election for any office this past week and every bit of politically related news of late has been about the midterms. His unacceptables for November are 39.6% (37.1 - October; 38.1 - September). Not looking good for my darkhorse, but it's still very early. We'll see as the early announcers begin to make themselves known.

What it all means:
Though none of the Big Three have officially announced, based on some things I've read, Giuliani is a lock to run and now that Romney is out of the governor's office in Massachusetts, he's got time on his hands to kill. I've no info on Newt's intentions. Everyone else is just spinning their wheels. Now obviously, this will not be the whole field, but what the poll seems to indicate is that the other candidates have their work cut out for them as far as attracting the base, McCain especially. While his numbers have shown slight improvement, he still has a ways to go to get to the Big Three's numbers. Frist has made no secret about his desire to run (he actually took the time to fix a straw poll at a convention a few months ago to turn out in his favor), but based on these numbers, he'd be smarter to not waste his time. These straw poll takers (or as I've labeled them, PTA conservates for Politically and Technologically Active) do not like him, and who can blame them?

My three previous Straw Poll posts can be found here:


No comments: