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    For what it’s worth

    For what it’s worth

    I ran the Des Moines Register final poll numbers yesterday, here’s PPP’s final Iowa poll released late last night:

    The Republican caucus in Iowa is headed for a photo finish, with the three leading contenders all within two points of each other.  Ron Paul is at 20%, Mitt Romney at 19%, and Rick Santorum at 18%. Rounding out the field are Newt Gingrich at 14%, Rick Perry at 10%, Michele Bachmann at 8%, Jon Huntsman at 4%, and Buddy Roemer at 2%.

    The momentum in the race is completely on Santorum’s side. He’s moved up 8 points since a PPP poll earlier in the week, while no one else has seen more than a one point gain in their support. Among voters who say they decided who to vote for in the last seven days he leads Romney 29-17 with Paul and Gingrich both at 13.

    Both polls show Santorum surging.  What happens if Romney ends up in 3rd, as now seems a possibility?  Also, does Perry continue if he doesn’t break 10%?

    Bachmann says she’s already bought her plane ticket to South Carolina, and that she is disappointed the conservative vote is being split.  So cancel your ticket, we’ll take up a collection fund here at Legal Insurrection reimburse you the cost of cancelling the ticket.  For the sake of the country, please.


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    damocles | January 2, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    It is the “also-rans” that unfortunately seem to be willing to soldier on after Iowa. I hoped that after Iowa Bachmann, and Santorum would drop out. I hoped that Huntsman would stay in as long as possible to take votes from Romney. I doubt it. With 24/7 news coverage and encouragement of the MSM, Bachmann and Santorum will continue to split the Conservative vote. Sadly, that’s just what Romney wants.

    […] and the pollsters have agreed that Mitt Romney and Ron Paul are tied — maybe with Rick Santorum.Legal Insurrection: Both polls show Santorum surging. What happens if Romney ends up in 3rd, as now seems a […]

    I’m glad you entitled this, “For what it’s worth” because, after all, it is based on speculation related to an “outlier” poll by PPP — a Democrat group whose participation in predicting Republican contests is always unquestionable, and the basis for whose speculation in this particular poll, as pointed out by Ed Morrissey, is highly suspect — one might even be tempted to add “laughable.”

    Surely some newbies and Democrats will caucus on Tuesday with Republicans, but I seriously doubt they will comprise half of all caucus-goers — who, after all, could have caucused with Paul in 2008 as well. When was the last time that overall attendance at an Iowa caucus doubled over a previous non-incumbent cycle with a flood of newbies and members of the opposition party? That’s the predictive model that PPP used in this poll, and using that long-shot scenario practically defines the term outlier in predictive polling.

    Of course, as a Democrat outfit, their interest at this point happens to coincide with your interest as a supporter of Newt Gingrich — to stop Romney at all costs!

    So, as I say, the title for what it’s worth was spot on.

    But the body of the post might as well have been written with a link to the PPP poll, and just two simple two words . . .

    Not Much!

    I have a for what it’s worth question, too. The Des Moines Register poll has cross-tabs of 61% male – 39% female. How is that a “good” poll? Ron Paul’s supporters are primarily male. PPP is trolling for males, asking for them, then talking to women, with over polling of about 4-5% male. Women traditionally outnumber men in attending the Caucuses, so, are we being fed a false bill of goods. Perry has strong female support. Judging from the crowds I’m seeing, Newt is drawing well, Santorum gets excited if 100 people show up.

    In the words of the Great American Philosopher, “It ain’t over ’till it’s over.”

    The Pink Flamingo

    valleyforge | January 3, 2012 at 2:00 am

    Sorry to pour cold water on Newt fans, but after declaring that he’s going to lose Iowa he is on track to see his support fade on caucus day the same way it did for Giuliani in 2008. Giuliani was posting a disappointing but understandable 7% in the final poll average, but took only 3.5% of the caucus vote. He had written Iowa off and his supporters had no reason to come out. Even if they did, they had no reason to stick with him since he wasn’t going to be a factor. Now Gingrich just told his supporters there is no point in fighting in Iowa, so many of them won’t. Huntsman and Bachmann will see similar slumps. I expect Gingrich’s 14% poll average to deflate to 8-9% of the actual caucus result and fall behind Perry. Sorry, but Gingrich will not survive the resulting dearth of attention and funds long enough to regain traction in South Carolina.

      “Sorry, but Gingrich will not survive the resulting dearth of attention and funds long enough to regain traction in South Carolina.”

      True. But I think one can also expect that Newt will “not go gentle into that good night.”

      No, Newt will likely “rage, rage” as he has done in the past. When he was forced out of the Speaker’s position back in the ’90s, he resigned from Congress all together and called his former Republican colleagues “cannibals” as he was walking out the door in a huff.

      Looks like his justification this time will be his assertion that his primary opponents are nasty and dishonest.

      “We’re learning a lot about what our opponents will do,” Gingrich said. “They are nastier and more dishonest than I expected. So we’ll have to make some adjustments.”

      Adjustments. Like grousing about Mitt Romney, by openly asserting that he would buy an election if he could.

      Three weeks ago, the guy was riding high in the polls and declaring that, let’s face it, he was going to be the Republican nominee this year.

      Now he’s going to take his ball and go home. But first, he’s going to wind up and throw it at somebody’s head.


        William A. Jacobson in reply to Trochilus. | January 3, 2012 at 10:34 am

        “But first, he’s going to wind up and throw it at somebody’s head.” Actually, the “but first” was Romney and his supporters who have been vicious and preparing to take their ball home, Romney ran the same campaign against Newt that he ran against Huckabee, so maybe Newt and Huckabee were not the problem.

          Perhaps you missed my central point . . . Newt Gingrich has now openly called all of “our opponents” in the Iowa primary “nastier and more dishonest” than he expected.

          Gee, didn’t he recently insist on calling them “competitors” and NOT “opponents?”

          Yes, I think he did . . . at a Ronald Reagan dinner in Des Moines, barely ONE month ago.

          “I am here with very fine competitors, but no opponents, he said. “We only have one opponent. That’s Barack Obama.”

          Huh. Well . . . no more Mr. Nice Newt!

          Of course, he continues to insist that his attacks are comparative. But openly claiming that Mitt Romney would buy the election if he could, is not any reasonable person’s idea of comparative! Perhaps you disagree?

          In my opinion, Newt sadly seems now to be reverting to form, which was why I cited his reaction to his other great loss of support from Republicans — when he resigned as Speaker, and from his House seat, and then referred to the Republican caucus as “cannibals” on the way out the door.

          Look, I commend him for entering and competing in the race. He is an interesting and complex figure in our political life. But his campaign was ill-conceived, underfunded, and at times it was embarrassingly amateurish. I think the final straw for Republicans was his failure to even follow the road map for making it onto the primary ballot in his adopted home state, the Commonwealth of Virginia . . . that was what the kids today call an “epic fail.”

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