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The Horse Race
Posted by: Dale Franks on Saturday, February 02, 2008

Super Tuesday is getting closer, and by Tuesday night, we may have a very good idea of who the nominees for the respective parties will be.

Or not.

In any event, both Rasmussen and Gallup are conducting daily tracking polls for both nominations, and, with time running short, here is how they look. Each poll result shown below is based on a running average of the latest few poll results, to smooth out the variations. Starting with the Republican race, Gallup shows the following results:

Republican Tracking Poll from Gallup

Rasmussen, conversely, shows a little different picture.

Republican Tracking Poll from Rasmussen

Note that while Gallup shows McCain with a clear lead in the race, the Rasmussen poll shows Romney and McCain now tied at 30%.

This is an interesting variation in the two polls, and, of course, as to which one is right I have no idea. It's interesting that the Rasmussen poll shows a lot more movement towards Romney than the Gallup poll does, because the Rasmussen poll uses a 4-day moving average for each day, vice Gallup's 3-day moving average. I'd expect the Gallup poll to show movement more quickly than Rasmussen for that reason alone.

Clearly, the two companies are talking to very different populations with this magnitude of variation in the results. With the poll results being so varied however, they're pretty much useless for predictive purposes.

Personally, I'd expect to see the results that Rasmussen shows. Since Florida, all of the major talk radio figures—Rush, Laura Ingraham, Michael Graham, Michael Reagan, et al.—have been coming out for Romney, and expressing disdain for McCain. I'd expect that focus on McCain's negative points to have an effect on the average Republican voter. So, Gallup's huge McCain bump seems kind of counter-intuitive to me.

Meanwhile, on the Democratic side, Gallup reports the following results:

Democratic Tracking Poll from Gallup

Rasmussen reports as follows:

Democratic Tracking Poll from Gallup

There's much more consonance between the two polls on the Democratic side. The percentages are off, but the results are very similar, in that Clinton has seen a noticeable uptick since Edwards left the race, while Obama's more modest uptick has stalled out.

While all this is interesting, however, it ultimately means nothing, since fully 1/3 of the electorate for both parties still haven't made a final decision on who to vote for. this is liable to make the actual elections themselves much more fluid on Tuesday.

But, both polls indicate that the nomination is still Hillary Clinton's to lose.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

You gotta love that color choice for the Gallup poll graphs: Dark green, green, light green, and really light green.

(I think I understand why, but still, not my first choice of web colors.)
Written By: Jeremy Bowers
Even rats have the good sense to leave the sinking ship—unlike the talk-radio rodents you mention!

Oh! I forgot! These rats have principles they are willing to die for!
Written By: eliXelx
URL: http://
These rats have principles they are willing to die for!
From what I’ve heard, they’ll all support McCain if he ends up as the republican nominee.

I’m not sure what you think your point is.
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
Deliberately dim, or just plain ignorant?

The female rats in question will vote, even work, for Hillary (see Coulter, Ingraham); the male rats (Limbaugh, Hewitt) will sit it out.

Of course the stinking ship is Romney and the rats are still on board; The leaky sieve called Mitt is going down, but the rats are clinging on, drowning with the ship, whose captain has already abandoned!

Now, which part of "these rats have principles they are willing to die for" do you find confusing?
Written By: eliXelx
URL: http://
Living in and voting in Oregon I get NO VOTE in this. Disgusting!
Written By: Rick
URL: http://

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