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Pres08: Short-term Giuliani-McCain Trends

Topics: 2008 , The 2008 Race

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I usually focus on the full set of polls available for an analysis. But sometimes it pays to zoom in on only some recent trends. In the case of the Republican presidential nomination battle, zooming in clarifies things a bit.

I've written about this, and compared my more sensitive estimator ("Ready Red") with my more conservative one ("Old Blue") in several places (here, here, and here.)

While I usually prefer the more conservative estimator because it is harder to fool it with a few polls, in this case it is clear that the Giuliani trend has taken a downturn since March. The evidence for a McCain upturn is much less compelling, but the red estimator thinks it sees a little bit of one.

In the plot above, it is clear that the sensitive red estimator follows the data rather well since early November when presidential nomination polls became frequent. The Giuliani trend clearly illustrates his substantial run-up but also his subsequent decline. The trend estimator now stands a point below where Giuliani began in November.

McCain, on the other hand, was in decline from December until about April 1. Since then he appears to have gained a couple of points.

This means that a substantial gap that Giuliani opened on McCain in the first quarter of the year has now largely disappeared. Giuliani has been ahead of McCain in the vast majority of polls, including 54 of the 56 polls taken since November 1 (see here as well). But that gap is narrowing.

Now what?

Cross-posted at Political Arithmetik.

 

Comments

McCain's amnesty antics, and subsequent blowup at Sen. Cornyn (one of about 5 GOP Senators with significant base credibility) have destroyed McCain's recent momentum.

On Intrade, McCain had made huge gains during April and May, from a trough around 18% to a high of 28%. Then the legislative diarrhea known as "McCain-Kennedy" came to the top of the news cycle, and stayed there.

The day that bill made the top of the news cycle, McCain lost 4 points on Intrade. He has since lost 6 more.

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Charles,

How much of the Giuliani downturn is due to Thompson entered as one of the response choices?

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Michael,

As far as I can tell, Fred Thompson has done more damage to Newt Gingrich than to Giuliani. There is a sharp change in Gingrich support when the Thompson candidacy comes up. But without individual level data, it is hard to be sure who is harmed by Thompson.

That said, most Thompson support seems to come from undecided or "other". No other candidate has lost as much support as Thompson seems to have (about 10-14%).

Charles

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