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Where is Ron Paul's Name?????

Topics: 2008 , Pollster.com , The 2008 Race

As this already slow Friday afternoon before Labor Day winds down, I seem to be on the receiving end of a glut of eerily similar emails about Ron Paul. Here is a sampling (and other than salutations, I'm leaving nothing out):

Is Ron Paul on another page?

How come you do not track the popularity of Ron Paul?

Where's Ron Paul's Name ????????????? We appreciate you!

Well, thank you! We received similar spate of messages in June and July:

Where's Ron Paul on your charts? I guess someone made an error. Please do something about this problem. Ron Paul has more support and cash on hand than John McCain already.

I am curious...where is Dr. Ron Paul on this poll? You do know he is running for president, correct? Also that he has a decent sized internet following, which has translated into real ground support more than a few times. If you could be so kind as to add Dr. Paul to this poll, or contact someone who can. Thank you.

I recently found your polls of those running for President in 2008 and to my suprise I've found that Ron Paul is not anywhere to be found on this polls. This is interesting since he has won almost everyone online poll and is dominating the internet. I think its sad your site is picking only those "serious" candidates. Every candidate is a serious candidate, thats the point of having democratic elections. I urge you to change your site to include everyone running for president not just the few and the rich.

Why is Ron Paul not an option on your polls? He has more web traffic than any other GOP canidate and has won EVERY debate to date by popular vote? I am offended by his disclusion. . . Please do the right thing and include Ron Paul in your polls. It IS your responsibility.

How can there be any kind of fairness or objectivity to your polls when they leave out the leading Republican Presidential candidate - Ron Paul? Check it out! The public wants a free America and only one person leads that direction - Ron Paul. It is hard to take your polling seriuosly as the degree of bias seems to exceed any honesty.

And thank you again! As I suspect we will receive more queries in this vein, here are some answers to try to clear up the confusion:

1) We do not conduct polls. We aggregate the results from surveys released into the public domain by media organizations, polling companies, campaigns and interest groups. As such, we have no role in deciding what goes into, or gets left out of, any poll.

2) Where is Ron Paul's name on Pollster.com? Well, for starters, try here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

Our goal is to collect and aggregate every result for every candidate choice on every trial heat question of every poll, good, bad or indifferent. On both the large charts and HTML tables that appear on Pollster for any race, we display the results for the five or six candidates leading candidates. We do so because of limits on space (for the tables) and legibility (for the charts). However, for each race and state we also include a PDF table with results for all active candidates and a second set of charts that plots a line for each candidate, including Paul (and those are the links listed above).

For brevity's sake, our "poll update" blog entries also typically highlight the percentages for just those candidates that garner 5% or better, although those updates always feature links to the source documents that include full results.

3) Why aren't the media pollsters asking about Paul? Actually, virtually all of the national pollsters have been including Paul and the list of choices in Republican trial heats during 2007. Check out our PDF for the national polls. If a candidate's name was not included among the answer choices a dash "-" will appear under their name. Ifthe result for Paul is "0%," that means that his support was less than 1%.

4) Why don't you include online reader polls or straw polls like those that sometimes appear on network web pages and blogs? Our goal is to include any survey that purports to provide a representative sampling of all adults, registered voters or likely voters nationwide or in a given state. We exclude explicitly "non-scientific" ballots done for "entertainment value." For more information on the shortcomings of these online ballots, see this recent column by ABC News Polling Director Gary Langer (whose organization does include Ron Paul on national trial heat poll questions).

Hopefully, that will answer the many questions. We appreciate you!

 

Comments
Steve Dasbach:

I frequently refer fellow Ron Paul supporters to pollster.com. Your site is great! I especially like the way you track EVERY candidate, including the early caucus & primary states. I only wish other sites covered all candidates as fairly.

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nimh:

The Ron Paul folks are sure a funny bunch ;-)

The angelic patience and understated wit in this excellent response to them made me smile.

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NH:

Well POLL THIS. Ron Paul has won every straw poll in NH by at least 65%

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"Well POLL THIS. Ron Paul has won every straw poll in NH by at least 65%"

There's a reason why straw polls are meaningless.

I would be amazed if Ron Paul earned more than 5% in New Hampshire, and I'm being generous there.

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If straw polls were "meaningless" they wouldn't exist. They are meaningful in a different way from old-tech telephone polls used to guage the mass media's influence on picking candidates. Which is waning, by the way. This may or may not be the election in which the people take back their government using the internet. Regardless, that time will come soon.

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"If straw polls were "meaningless" they wouldn't exist."

They exist because they are easily manipulated and therefore can be used to spread misinformation.

"They are meaningful in a different way from old-tech telephone polls used to guage the mass media's influence on picking candidates."

This makes you sound like a crackpot, by the way.

"Regardless, that time will come soon."

That's true. And when Ron Paul bombs, how well you explain it? Mainstream media interference, or Ron Paul's message not being popular with the average person.

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I'm no Paul supporter, but his stock on intrade regarding the GOP nomination has been rising; he's currently in fifth place, and en route to overtaking John McCain for fourth. Given that Paul is already fourth in cash on hand among Republicans, and is the only anti-war candidate in a party where a quarter to a third of voters oppose the war, it's not unthinkable to consider him a serious dark hosrse contender.

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Jeff Winchell:

Given Huckabee's huge polling bump after the Iowa Straw Poll shows that straw polls sometimes count. But my gut feeling is that they rarely count.

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Paul doesn't show up in the poll's because the polls themselves are biased. Often paid for by a party or interest group they are designed to "steer" you to a more politcally mainstream candidate. Meaning a neo-con Republican or Gov-Health Care Dem. The government/media complex wants nothing more than Paul and Edwards to fail miserably, as they represent views hostisle to what is going on is the ceasepoll that is Washington.

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"Given Huckabee's huge polling bump after the Iowa Straw Poll shows that straw polls sometimes count."

That has everything to do with the publicity they generate, nothing to do with scientific accuracy. Generating publicity is the only purpose for straw polls.

"I'm no Paul supporter, but his stock on intrade regarding the GOP nomination has been rising; he's currently in fifth place,"

He's currently in sixth place, (Giuliani, Romney, Thompson, McCain, Huckabee, and sometimes Gingrich).

His support is still below the margin of error meaning there's really no way to determine if his standing has gone up or not.

And sixth place in a three man horse race is not a strong position.

Furthermore, there have been a number of candidates that have dropped out, otherwise he would be even further back.

"Paul doesn't show up in the poll's because the polls themselves are biased. Often paid for by a party or interest group they are designed to "steer" you to a more politcally mainstream candidate."

And I bet you think 9/11 was an inside job.

You sound paranoid.

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C.S. - At the time I wrote my post, Paul was in fifth place ahead of Huckabee on intrade; it appears now that Huckabee has jumped ahead not only Paul but McCain as well - although, to keep things in perspective, Huckabee only went up a point or so to accomplish this.

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Chantal:

I think Paul's supporters, with their delusional defiance and obnoxious tactics, are a contributing factor to Paul's failure to climb in the polls. Besides the general unpopularity of Paul's policies among likely Republican primary voters (small military, not writing federal law to ban abortion, just to name a few), I'm sure undecideds are turned-off by the childish Paul supporters who wouldn't know rational thought if it visited them in their mother's basement.

Not to mention their showing of complete ignorance to polling methodology on a site such as Pollster.com. If they actually wanted to learn a thing or two, they would sit down and read it from time to time.

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"Not to mention their showing of complete ignorance to polling methodology on a site such as Pollster.com."

This is what gets me the most. Too many of them think scientific polls are meaningless but straw polls, or worse yet, internet polls, are somehow valid evidence that prove Ron Paul is popular.

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Till:

"The government/media complex wants nothing more than Paul and Edwards to fail miserably, as they represent views hostisle to what is going on is the ceasepoll that is Washington."

How in the world do you lump Edwards in with Paul, after mentioning Big Evil Government Health Care? Edwards is perhaps the strongest proponent of universal health care that this nation has ever seen.

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mark:

Somehow I suspect that 90% of america hasn't heard anything about the Presidential candidate except something about some former actor, and some former mayor and some Mormon and some presidential wife and some other new guy.

At this point polls really are little more than name recognition. To assume otherwise is to place more stock into things than your really should. (Of course with the state of Presidential Campaigning I could be cynical and say that's what it it's all about anyway)

The other issue is the media doesn't like a wide open race. no more than it does the idea of a third party candidacy. Why? not for any particularly nefarious reason, but simply because the media generally doesn't like wildcards and they generally prefer to look like they know what they're saying or doing. Unexpected things tend to unsettle them until they can fit it into an entirely new box (or find a way to breathlessly hype it and create a new box for the new thing/concept/idea).

Ron Paul does need to start getting some traction in at least a couple of states. He does have some buzz, but again, Huckabee has jumpstarted his campaign and with F. Thompson ... stumbling into the race, Ron Paul will get squeezed out unless he begins garnering some upticks in the polls. 2 - 3 percent national is ok, but he needs a 10% showing in a couple of state polls to show he can organize and grow from his current base.

He has the cash, and I think it's time he sunk some money into some campaign advertisements in New Hampshire. Get name recognition and at least crack 10% in some polls there. Then you might see some more snowball and movement. (I believe Richardson is trying that on the Democrat side with some limited success, but the Republican candidates support is much softer and that technique could garner more headway there)

Long story Short. Paul still has a window, he just needs to get crackin'.

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"Somehow I suspect that 90% of america hasn't heard anything about the Presidential candidate..."

According to polls reported on this site, 23% of Americans are following the '08 elections closely.

"Long story Short. Paul still has a window, he just needs to get crackin'."

Personally, I think he has a better shot if he sticks around till the very end, and then decide to try again as an independent.

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Chantal:

"Somehow I suspect that 90% of america hasn't heard anything about the Presidential candidate..."

Sounds about right. Nationally, maybe 10% will actually vote in the primaries.

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MM:

I just love C.S. Strowbrige's idiocy. Take a look at his comments... and his webpage! So funny.

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"I just love C.S. Strowbrige's idiocy. Take a look at his comments... and his webpage! So funny."

My website is supposed to be funny.

But what mistakes do you think I've made here?

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RB:

CS - "His support is still below the margin of error meaning there's really no way to determine if his standing has gone up or not."

Chantal - "Not to mention their showing of complete ignorance to polling methodology on a site such as Pollster.com. If they actually wanted to learn a thing or two, they would sit down and read it from time to time."

CS and Chantal,

You also need to point out the fact that any poll showing a margin of error more than 3 percentile is not very reliable. Unfortunately, most of the polls I see have MOE up to 5% and some even 6%. How do the companies convince serious media outlets to purchase the data? Most of the sampling in many of the polls also relies on hastily prepared and often sloppy "methodology."

Also, These polls also discount the very presence that is fueling Paul's insurgency: Young professionals and others with a cell phone and no home phone. I believe its not quite in a pollster's ability to do mass surveys of this demographic because of that Characteristic. Instead, the polling company just takes the closest estimated demographic and increases the results to account for the missing sample. So we could argue that since the polling data can't include this variable or parameters, then it could be very wrong on its "mean" for Paul because, there is a big blind spot in the results.

The fact is that this presidential race for 08 is very much up in the air and, Ron Paul could add an interesting bit of "real" debate on ideas to the "methodology" of otherwise boring and orchestrated politics.

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libertynow:

What is the difference between a Straw Poll and Caucus or Convention? To say straw polls have no valid place in national polls shows that people do not understand how all the states pick their guy (or girl) Of all the straw polls taken this year (no internet where Ron Paul almost always wins) Ron Paul has won more than 60% and destroys the others in head to head match ups. I just hope that 30% are cell phone users and all love Ron Paul for freedoms sake.

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4ronpaul:

Yes, hum... the statisticians are working hard I see. Perhaps in for a big surprise as it is not who says they will vote, but who will get their little hindquarters into a voting both that will do it. doesn't do anyone's statistics a bit of good if the apathetic say who they will vote for based on name recognition flavor of the week and don't show up to put a check in the box, does it?
Given the enthusiasm of the Paul crowd, with 84,000+ meetup group members compared to guiliani's 45 members, with or without my 1 year of graduate level statistics classes suggests the probability there is delightfully more to come. Straw poll results tell me they (those darned revolutionaries) might decide to show up at caucuses too. Gee, thank goodness there aren't more anarchists crazy enough to start a company to put up a blimp, pay for a full page ad in USA Today, host a boston tea party, create a $4.2 money bomb and start meetup groups all over the world for any other candidate- and all this and they have the audacity to do it without prior approval of campaign headquarters! What is America coming to?

For the first time in my middle aged average jane well educated middle class white collar life I am a crack pot, unintelligent, right left insurgent because I support a candidate with integrity, a consistent 20 year voting record to prove it and who makes total sense. I must be spending far too much time on the internet. Cool. Hope other people google Ron Paul, too! Thanks Pollster.

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All I hope is that all of this support and voting online or offline is getting done by those who will actually 1. register republican in time and 2. go and actually vote and make sure their vote counts.

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