December 7, 2015
Ted Cruz has jumped into the lead in Iowa, according to a new poll from Monmouth University. While this is the first poll Cruz has led, it has been somewhat expected given his climb in recent weeks. Much of Cruz's support growth can probably be traced to a corresponding fall by Ben Carson.
The image at left shows that Cruz has more than doubled his support since late October's Monmouth poll, as Carson has lost more than half of his. While this transition from Carson to Cruz was happening, Donald Trump took the lead in other Iowa polls and he maintains a small lead in our 5-poll Iowa average. Marco Rubio has also seen significant growth in support, and is just behind Trump in this latest poll.
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December 7, 2015
A new poll finds Fading Republican Ben Carson trails Hillary Clinton by just 1%, while frontrunner Donald Trump trails her by 11%. These are some of the findings of the MSNBC/Telemundo/Marist poll out today. Clinton leads other prospective challengers by anywhere from 3 to 7 points.
The poll also looked at how each candidate would do against Clinton with a subset of Latino voters. No great surprise here, as Clinton beats Bush, Cruz and Carson by about 25%, and Trump by 42% with that segment. Rubio performs best, with a 19 point deficit.
Rubio gained 11 points, after trailing with Latinos by 30 points in the prior MSNBC survey, conducted in September. In fact, where comparisions are available, each Republican's relative support with Latinos is up, and Republicans are generally outperforming 2012 actual results. Barack Obama beat Mitt Romney by 44 points, 71% to 27% in that year's presidential election. Even Trump, vilified by Latinos for his stance on immigration, is running no worse than that at this point.
December 4, 2015
Donald Trump has opened up a 20 point lead on his closest challengers for the Republican nomination in the latest CNN | ORC poll of registered Republicans. This is the first national poll fully sampled after Thanksgiving. Trump's 36% represents a new high in polling support, as does the size of his lead. In the last CNN | ORC poll in late October, Trump had 27%, but just a 5 point lead.
Ted Cruz was 2nd, with 16% support, just ahead of Ben Carson's 14%. Hidden in that result is that Cruz's support is on the rise, while Carson is fading. In the prior CNN | ORC poll, Carson had 22%, Cruz just 4%. These two appeal to a similar portion of the electorate.
Less than two months from the Iowa Republican caucus, Trump remains the undisputed national frontrunner in the still-crowded Republican field.
New: 3rd Party / Independent Electoral Map
It's pure speculation at this point, but if Trump were to continue dominating the Republican field, it's possible we could see one or more high-profile candidates jump into the race as independents or with a 3rd party. Perhaps a defeated Republican or former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg. On the other hand, if Trump is pushed aside 'unfairly', he might choose to take his considerable base and run as an independent himself. While unlikely, this could lead to electoral votes being won outside the two major parties.
Our new electoral map lets you game out such scenarios. Try it out!
December 1, 2015
Coming out of the Thanksgiving holiday, the next big event on the presidential calendar is the Republican debate on December 15th in Las Vegas. As we previously noted, it is likely that New Jersey governor Chris Christie will rejoin the main stage, based on qualifying criteria set by host CNN that considers polling performance in Iowa and New Hampshire. As an aside, Christie was endorsed this past weekend by the New Hampshire Union Leader in this editorial.
The Democrats will debate on December 19th from Manchester, New Hampshire.
We're exactly two months out from the start of the 2016 election calendar. On February 1, 2016, the Republican and Democratic caucuses in Iowa will take place. On the Republican side, Donald Trump holds a small lead over Ben Carson in the 270toWin polling average, although the most recent polls have Ted Cruz overtaking Carson. Marco Rubio is also seeing double-digit support. Interest drops off quickly after that, with the two most recent Iowa winners (Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee) not apparently making much of an impact.
On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton is averaging 53%, with Bernie Sanders at 37% and Martin O'Malley at 5%. It is worth noting, however, that two polls out just before Thanksgiving had Clinton ahead by less than 10%. It is also worth noting that the winner of the Iowa Democratic caucus has gone on to be the Democratic nominee for the last five cycles, including three competitive elections (i.e., no Democratic presidential incumbent). Those were Al Gore in 2000, John Kerry in 2004 and Barack Obama in 2008.
November 23, 2015
For the first time this election cycle, polls from early voting states will help determine who makes the main stage at the next Republican debate. That debate is scheduled for December 15th in Las Vegas and will be hosted by CNN, who has set the qualifying criteria.
Candidates that average 3.5% in national polls or 4% in either Iowa or New Hampshire in the weeks leading up to the debate will take the main stage. CNN says nine candidates would currently qualify: Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, John Kasich, Rand Paul, Carly Fiorina and Chris Christie.
There will also be an undercard debate. Any candidate not making the main stage who saw at least 1% support in four separate national, Iowa or New Hampshire polls will make the cut. At this point, that list includes Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, Lindsey Graham and George Pataki.
If the above holds, Christie will return to the main stage after being relegated to the undercard in the Fox Business debate earlier this month. He has mainly outperformed the criteria in New Hamsphire. Graham and Pataki will get back on stage after also being excluded in the last debate. Jim Gilmore, who has only participated in one debate, will continue to be on the sidelines.
CORRECTION: The original version of this story said that Jim Gilmore had not been invited to any of the Republican debates. He was invited, and did particpate, in the undercard debate hosted by Fox News on 8/6/15.
November 22, 2015
As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, a new batch of polls give us the state of the nomination races nationally and in some early voting states.
National: Two polls out today, one from Washington Post/ABC News (WP/ABC) and one from Fox News give Donald Trump a 10 point lead over Ben Carson. Trump's 32% number in the WP/ABC poll matches the highest level of support he has received in any poll thus far. However, it is worth noting that this prior 32% was in last month's WP/ABC survey. The Fox poll saw less combined support for Trump and Carson (54% WP/ABC vs. 46% Fox) and more (28% Fox vs. 19% WP/ABC) for Rubio/Cruz. Cruz reached 14% in the Fox poll, tying Rubio and also tying his best performance to date. Most recent polls have these four candidates taking nearly 75% of voter support.
Early Voting States: CBS and YouGov released their latest Battleground Tracker series today, individually polling the early states of Iowa, New Hampshire & South Carolina.
Notable here is Ted Cruz at 21% in Iowa; he was at 12% in the October CBS/YouGov poll. Much of that gain came at the expense of Ben Carson, who fell from 27% to 19%.
Finally, there was a separate New Hampshire poll from Suffolk University and Boston Globe. Trump led with 22%, double that of Marco Rubio, Ben Carson and Ted Cruz who were around 10%. This is in line with other recent live polls from that state. What was notable, however, was that the pollsters asked about preference if Mitt Romney were in the race. The 2012 Republican nominee dominated that survey, with 31% double that of second place Donald Trump, at 15%. Romney has repeatedly said he's not interested in running.
Democrats: Hillary Clinton maintains a dominant lead over Bernie Sanders, up by over 20% in both of today's polls.
November 19, 2015
There are still 14 Republicans vying for the party's 2016 nomination, but four seem to be preferred by the majority of Republican voters, based on most ecent polls. At the top, 'outsiders' Donald Trump continues to hold a small lead over Ben Carson, now about 5 points in the 270toWin average. Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz are basically tied for 3rd, with support averaging in the low double-digits.
Two polls out today, from Bloomberg and Public Policy, maintain these trends.
Looking past the top four, Jeb Bush seems to be in his own grouping, well back of Rubio and Cruz, but well ahead of the five candidates averaging around 3%.
With the holiday season upon us, the race for the nomination may quiet down for a few weeks with fewer polls and only one debate scheduled (December 15 in Las Vegas). As a result, absent any major gaffes, the relative position of the candidates may not change much until the race really kicks into high gear in early January, preceding the first primary/caucus events in early February.
November 17, 2015
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal ended his presidential campaign, CNN reports. Jindal never got much traction in the race, averaging just 0.5% in recent polls:
Jindal is the third of 17 Republicans to exit the race, preceded by fellow governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin and former Texas governor Rick Perry. Fourteen Republicans remain, although most support seems to be with four candidates: Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz.
Jindal is term-limited and his two terms as Louisiana governor will end in January. He will be replaced by either state representative John Bel Edwards or U.S. Senator David Vitter. These two will meet in a runoff election this Saturday, November 21st.
November 16, 2015
A new Virginia poll by the University of Mary Washington shows Ben Carson leading Donald Trump 29-24% among likely Republican voters and Hillary Clinton up 63% to 27% over Bernie Sanders among likely Democratic voters. Virginia's primary is scheduled for March 1, part of a Super Tuesday of mostly southern states.
The poll also looked at the November election, but with a twist. All the surveyed match-ups, except one, included former Virginia Senator Jim Webb running as an independent. Webb withdrew from the Democratic field on October 20th, indicating at the time that he could return to the race unaffiliated with any party. No subsequent announcements have been made, although Webb's website is posting articles that would make one think he's giving it serious consideration.
In the four match-ups surveyed, Webb received anywhere from 12-20% of the vote, in all cases larger than the difference between the two major party candidates. While these numbers would undoubtedly change were Webb to run, he could potentially tip the outcome in what was one of only four states to be decided by 5% or less in 2012 and thus the former Senator could have an outsized influence in who becomes our next president. (Virginia voting history).
The University did a 5th 3-way test, pitting Jeb Bush against Hillary Clinton, with Donald Trump running as an independent. Clinton easily won that match-up with 42% of the vote, with Trump (27%) and Bush (24%) nearly splitting the rest of the pie.
November 13, 2015
The second of six sanctioned Democratic debates will take place Saturday night at Drake University in Des Moines. Hosted by CBS News and The Des Moines Register, the debate will be televised by CBS at 9 P.M. ET, moderated by John Dickerson, host of Face the Nation. Dickerson has indicated his focus will be on the economy, particularly stagnant wages for the middle class and the increasing costs for health care and education.
The three remaining Democrats in the field: Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders & Martin O'Malley are all expected to participate.
The Saturday night timing of the debate will likely keep viewership down, and that may be intentional on the part of the Democratic National Committee, which has been previously criticized for the small number of events.
Looking at the state of the Democratic race, Hillary Clinton remains well ahead of Bernie Sanders nationally and in Iowa. Martin O'Malley continues to garner little support, although he did see a best-to-date total of 5% in this week's CBS News/NY Times poll.
Iowa kicks off the 2016 election calendar when it holds party caucuses on Tuesday, February 1, 2016.