Categorized | News, Opinion

Polling Trends GOP Primary – Who is Trending UP? Who is Trending Down?

I am a frequent reader of Real Clear Politics. Most political junkies are very familiar with the site. They gather together a large number of polls and average the results. In theory, this smooths out the outlierĀ  (which are sometimes outright liars) and uses the average of the polls to give a better look at what is really going on with a candidate.

If you click here, you can see the latest average at RCP.

But this analysis, while being a good tool, can also be manipulated by pollsters more interested in swaying opinion than measuring it. This happens more often in Republican vs Democrat polls where many of the pollsters lean left. The polls vary quite a bit in the Demographic makeup of one another. One may poll 45% Democrats and 20% Republicans and another poll is closer to even. It is a a shame, but it happens.

In a same party poll like the GOP Primary polls, it is harder to manipulate the data based on Demographic sample, but not impossible. For instance, if the pollsters call urban area codes vs rural, the sample will most likely lean more to the left. It is not hard to manipulate the results based on geographic location. Or some other data point.

Not all polling outfits manipulate the data. Some are actually trying to measure opinion with a fair and honest sample and any “normalization” that they do is statistically sound. Others, not so much. I have my favorite pollsters and some I don’t care too much for.

But one measure – trends – tends to be a realistic measure even if a poll is intentionally fudged. (Just look at the “climate change” data manipulation to see what goes on.)

But same poll trends offer a pretty good measure as most polls tend to repeat their calling patterns and sample manipulation to adjust for sampling errors. So if most of the parameters of a poll remain constant poll to poll by the same outfit, the rise and fall of a candidate is pretty much a constant. So, no matter how bad a sample base is used, as long as the same “bad” or good sample base is used, the upwards or downward trends will show up.

So, based on trends, I looked at 10 polling outfits – CBS/ NY Times, IBD/TIPP, USA Today/Suffolk, CNN/ORC, Quinnipiac, Fox News, ABC/WaPo, PPP, Bloomberg and NBC/WSJ and I looked at their last two polls. If a candidate’s same poll numbers increased from the previous poll I assigned a value of 1 to that poll for that candidate. If the result stayed the same, I assigned a value of 0 and if the results went down, the value was -1.

I only looked at the top 5 candidates. Trump, Cruz, Carson, Rubio and Bush. The rest are so far behind (and Bush is just about in that group now) that they are not relevant.

So, how do the trends stack up?

Cruz – +9. He was trending positive in 9 polls and the same in 1.

Trump – +5. He was trending positive in 7 of the 10. Down in 2 and the same in 1.

Rubio – +4. Marco was trending up in 6 polls, down in 2 and the same in 1.

Carson – (-3). He is trending down in 6 polls, up in 3 and the same in 1.

Bush – (-6). Jeb is trending down in 7 polls, up in 1 and the same in 2 polls.



On the Decline

I would say, based on the average of the trends, Jeb Bush looks like his candidacy is going the wrong way and fast. In the RCP averages, Bush began his decline back in September and has consistently lost ground ever since.

Ben Carson has seen his meteoric rise that started in August and peaked in early November go into a nose dive since then. He has gone from a short stint at even or slightly ahead of Trump to a position that has him tied with Rubio for 3rd place – and the trend is falling.

On the Rise

As Carson has plummeted this past month plus, it seems his voters have either gone to Cruz or Rubio. Both began a pretty good rise at about the same time Carson started his decline.

Ted Cruz is trending at +9, far above the rest of the field. He is on a steep climb while Marco Rubio, according to the RCP average, has leveled off and even gone into a bit of a decline.

But Cruz and Rubio trending positive loses some of it’s significance because Donald Trump is still trending positive. Which shows that some of Carson’s supporters who are going away also moved to Trump. And unless or until Trump reaches the point he starts to decline – a condition that the GOP establishment and media have been praying for with prayers unanswered – Cruz and Rubio rising has little effect on the leader.

In the past 3 weeks, Cruz has risen 4%, but Trump has gone up 6%. And there are some polls that will be released in the next few days that will show Trump has hit another home run with his statement that we need to halt Muslim immigration until we can figure this out.

The apoplectic establishment GOP and Media have gone all in on Trump’s latest statement, ever in the hope that this will finally be the error that will cause Trump to fade. But as the latest Fox News poll, taken after Trump’s “Muslim” statement shows, Trump got a boost of 7 points from 28% to 35% after his statement and the free publicity every news outlet and the GOP field gave him. Another poll showed 66% of likely Republican Primary voters like Trump’s plan to halt Muslim immigration. And ironically, in an effort to smear Trump, those opposing him with negative comments and ads are spreading the word to a population that finds Trump’s ideas overwhelmingly appealing.


Bush and Carson are done. They are trending downwards and losing points in the RCP poll averages. Rubio may have peaked, or possibly is just sitting at a plateau. As Bush falls, Rubio looks to be picking up some of his supporters. But Rubio, the last best hope of the Establishment GOP, is behind Trump by 17 points. And if Rubio inherited all of the supporters of Bush, Graham, Christie, Huckabee, Santorum, Kasich and Pataki (all the RINO’s in the race) he would still be down by 7 points. And the rest of the field, Carson, Fiorina and Paul appeal to GOP Primary voters who are tired of the Establishment screwing up the country. I just don’t see a lot of their supporters moving to Rubio. Cruz is likely to get the bulk, but Trump will also get a share of the voters from the two outsiders and Paul, not exactly an insider.

The trends, the averages, the momentum and the crowds are all favoring Donald Trump. The establishment will probably never understand the Trump appeal, but no matter what The Donald says, he is not GOP establishment. The stupidity, games and outright contempt of the GOP Establishment has finally come home to roost. The GOP voters and the American people are mad as hell at the Republican Party. And just like Obama and the Democrats fail to see ISIS is at war with us, so too do the GOP regular fail to see the anger their antics have raised. The Americans people are tired of Democrats and they are tired of Republican insiders.

At this point, Trump is on a path to the GOP Nomination.

And if you think the voters are angry with Republicans now, just let them use a brokered convention or other backhanded way to steal the nomination from Trump – like the Cantorites used slating in Virginia. The anger and blowback cost Eric Cantor his job. The GOP will see the same ire should they do what many are contemplating to hold on to power.

About Tom White

Tom is a US Navy Veteran, owns an Insurance Agency and is currently an IT Manager for a Virginia Distributor. He has been published in American Thinker, currently writes for the Richmond Examiner as well as Virginia Right! Blog. Tom lives in Hanover County, Va and is involved in politics at every level and is a Recovering Republican who has finally had enough of the War on Conservatives in progress with the Leadership of the GOP on a National Level.

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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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