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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 1:27 pm 
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I'm always in the business of trying to figure out the state of the race. We have scant polling that has been conducted after Santorum's three-state sweep.

Some of the polls we do have are these:

Tennessee ARG:
Santorum: 34
Romney: 27
Gingrich: 16
Paul: 13

Georgia Rosetta Stone:
Gingrich: 35
Santorum: 26
Romney: 16
Paul: 5

California Survey USA:
Romney: 33
Santorum: 31
Gingrich: 17
Paul: 9

National PPP:
Santorum: 38
Romney: 23
Gingrich: 17
Paul: 13

That's about it as far as polls that we have conducted February 8 or later entirely. Next, if you compare these polls to polls that we have conducted in early February such as this poll:

Georgia Survey USA:
Gingrich: 45%
Romney: 32%
Santorum: 9%
Paul: 8%

or these national polls:

ABC News:
Romney: 38
Gingrich: 24
Santorum: 18
Paul: 14

Rasmussen:
Romney: 34
Gingrich: 27
Santorum: 18
Paul: 11

If you compare equivalent polls, you can come to some early conclusions (based on limited data to this point I admit). It looks like Gingrich has dropped about 10 points. He lost 10 points in Georgia, and around 10 points nationally. Romney goes from the mid-30's to the mid-20's nationally and he dropped 16 points in Georgia. Santorum is gaining around 15-20 points. It's been 20 points in the national polls and 17 points in the Georgia poll.

To simplify things to easier analysis, it looks like Santorum has gained about 20 points with 10 coming from Gingrich and 10 coming from Romney.

The next step is figuring out the state of the race in places where we don't have up-to-date polling.

Arizona:

We have this poll from Feb. 1

Rasmussen:
Romney: 48%
Gingrich: 24%
Santorum: 13%
Paul: 6%

Add 20 points to Santorum, subtract 10 points from Gingrich, and subtract 10 points from Romney. You get:

Arizona:
Romney: 38%
Santorum: 33%
Gingrich: 14%
Paul: 6%


Michigan:

We have 2 polls from early February:

MIRS:
Romney: 31%
Gingrich: 16%
Santorum: 15%
Paul: 14%

Rasmussen:
Romney: 38%
Gingrich: 23%
Santorum: 17%
Paul: 14%

Average of the two polls:
Romney: 34.5%
Gingrich: 19.5%
Santorum: 16%
Paul: 14%

Then, add 20 points to Santorum, subtract 10 from Gingrich, and subtract 10 from Romney:

Michigan:
Santorum: 36%
Romney: 24.5%
Paul: 14%
Gingrich: 9.5%

This Michigan guess squares pretty well with this tweet from PPP:
Quote:
Rick Santorum now leads Mitt Romney in Michigan — the state where Mitt’s dad was governor, according to a tweet by Public Policy Polling. The PPP tweet says: “Santorum topping Romney on the first night of our Michigan poll. This may be the biggest surge yet.”


Not sure if this is an accurate analysis. We'll see whenever we get some polling from Arizona and Michigan. If it is accurate, then Santorum is a lot closer than people think in Arizona and he leads Romney in Michigan.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 7:47 pm 
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@ppppolls: Barring some big shift in tonight's calls Santorum will be up by 10-15 on the Michigan poll

@ppppolls PublicPolicyPolling
I wouldn't get too hyper about the MI results yet, remember Newt was up in FL right after his big SC win. Didn't last long...

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 11:46 am 
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American Research Group Michigan Poll:

http://argojournal.blogspot.com/2012/02 ... an_13.html

Santorum: 33%
Romney: 27%
Gingrich: 21%
Paul: 12%


Looks like I was pretty close except Gingrich is doing better than I expected.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 12:02 pm 
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Public Policy Polling Michigan Poll:

http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/main ... higan.html

Santorum: 39%
Romney: 24%
Paul: 12%
Gingrich: 11%


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 3:56 pm 
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I've been doing some other analysis on Arizona. It's really a tough nut to crack. The electorate according to the 2008 exit poll is more conservative than in Michigan, yet the only Arizona poll we have has Romney way ahead of everyone with 48%. Part of this has to be that the poll was taken right after Romney won Florida when it seemed inevitable to a lot of people that Romney would be the nominee.

Since then, according to the Gallup national tracking poll Romney has lost 5 points, Gingrich has lost 6 points, Paul has lost 3 points, and Santorum has gained 14 points. If you adjust the early February Rasmussen AZ poll, that still leaves Romney with around a 15 point lead in Arizona.

PPP and ARG both have Santorum leading Michigan though, and CNN said the Michigan voters weren't as conservative as the Arizona voters in the 2008 primary, so something is fishy. Either we've had a massive swing in Arizona that is not yet detected because of a lack of polling data, or an Arizona conservative is different from a Michigan conservative.

Here's the data I was referring to from the CNN exit poll in 2008:

Arizona:
Very Conservative: 30%
Somewhat Conservative: 36%
Moderate: 26%
Somewhat Liberal: 8%
Very Liberal: 1%

Michigan:
Very Conservative: 24%
Somewhat Conservative: 32%
Moderate: 33%
Somewhat Liberal: 9%
Very Liberal: 3%

If this data is correct, then Santorum should be doing better in Arizona than in Michigan. Something doesn't quite make sense.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 4:18 pm 
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Arizona is already voting too which factors into the situation. Early voting in AZ seems to be quite popular. I know from calls I've made into AZ for Team Santorum that lots of folks vote early there. So it will be interesting to see the weekend AZ PPP poll.

I've had a few folks in AZ tell me that they thought Santorum was going to perform well there. But, we'll see how the negative bombardment affects his numbers. I think Romney will also lose ground if he goes nuclear on Santorum.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 1:24 am 
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I'd be interested to know what others think, but it appears to me that the Romney campaign has not yet decided what they should do with Santorum. My gut instinct tells me that at least up until now they have not believed that Santorum was a serious threat EVEN with his 3 state win. I think they have felt since December that Newt was the only one that could pose a serious threat to Romney. My instinct also tells me that this is something that is changing.

I would think they've already gotten together a good deal of opposition research and have been talking about different ways to go negative, but the big question is when do they pull the trigger and how negative do they go? I'm wondering if they're going to let this week play out and see if Romney can make a comeback in the polls and hope Santorum starts to come down a little bit.

The thing that would put a real scare into the Romney campaign is that if they saw polls in Arizona tightening to single digits. But we may not see definitive polling there until next week. It could be another Colorado situation where the surge happens underneath the polling and no one picks it up until it's too late.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 1:45 am 
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WalterCan wrote:
I'd be interested to know what others think, but it appears to me that the Romney campaign has not yet decided what they should do with Santorum. My gut instinct tells me that at least up until now they have not believed that Santorum was a serious threat EVEN with his 3 state win. I think they have felt since December that Newt was the only one that could pose a serious threat to Romney. My instinct also tells me that this is something that is changing.

I would think they've already gotten together a good deal of opposition research and have been talking about different ways to go negative, but the big question is when do they pull the trigger and how negative do they go? I'm wondering if they're going to let this week play out and see if Romney can make a comeback in the polls and hope Santorum starts to come down a little bit.

The thing that would put a real scare into the Romney campaign is that if they saw polls in Arizona tightening to single digits. But we may not see definitive polling there until next week. It could be another Colorado situation where the surge happens underneath the polling and no one picks it up until it's too late.


I think you're right, they're still trying to figure out what to do with him. I've heard the SuperPac supporting Romney has taken out a large ad buy in Michigan, and while right now they've got an ad targeting Gingrich up and running (which seems counter-productive to me at this point), there's talk of replacing it with something else soon, which will surely be an ad targeting Santorum. The big question for me is whether they'll continue the bland "big-government ear-marker" attacks that haven't really gained much traction, or whether they'll try to paint him as extreme right-winger who's not electable. My guess is if they go that route they'll face a ton of criticism from the right, but it might be effective in bringing down Santorum several notches nonetheless. Gird your loins!

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 2:21 am 
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Romney's challenge at this point is that he is finally starting to lose a significant amount of his support. He has succeeded in convincing a lot of them that he is not such a good prospect for the general as they once believed.

So (in addition to his embarrassing stumbles in the media) his attacks on Gingrich, while possibly fatal to Gingrich, have also wounded him. And if he turns his machine on Santorum, there is a good possibility that he will finish his own campaign even if he succeeds in injuring Santorum. Meanwhile, the GOP leadership is breathing down his neck not to damage party unity & general election prospects any further with this garbage.

It seems Romney has actually succeeded in painting himself into a bit of a corner. God is good!


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:35 pm 
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I also think the Romney campaign in not sure how to handle Santorum. He is a candidate with very high favorables so while sometimes going negative can knock those favorables down (along with your own) you also risk the chance of galvanizing voters against you because you are attacking a likable person.

Quote:
It could be another Colorado situation where the surge happens underneath the polling and no one picks it up until it's too late.


I would love for that to happen in AZ, although a "polliing surprise" is more likely to happen with a caucus and not a primary just because people can easily change their mind during the process of a caucus. However, in our gubernatorial primary the grassroots support was totally missed and our candidate actually overperformed his polling by 10%. This usually happens because movement on the ground, especially in rural areas (where grassroots candidates are usually strong and they turn out to vote) are not polled well. I don't know Arizona's demographics well enough to know if that may happen.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 3:16 pm 
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Rasmussen MI poll today (2/14/12):
http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_ ... an_primary

Santorum 35
Romney 32 (fixed from 23)
Paul 13
Gingrich 11

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 3:28 pm 
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From what little I've heard about AZ, Romney has a strong organization there, along with a small but devoted contingent of Mormon supporters. Additionally, it's in the "wild west" territory where social conservatives don't generally fare as well (as we Huck fans know). I think that, coupled with the fact that they have already begun early voting means that AZ is going to be a bit like CO - situation leans more likely Romney, but still anybody's guess. (Hope it turns out like CO, though! 8) )


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 3:46 pm 
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The Rasmussen poll should be:

Romney 32, not 23. Slight typo.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 4:09 pm 
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Note that the Rasmussen Michigan poll was conducted Monday Feb. 13, 2 days after Romney's win in Maine. It's clear that Romney got no bump (or very little) from winning Maine. You only get bumps by exceeding expectations, not just winning. No one expected Santorum to even be a factor, yet he won multiple blowout victories. That raised a lot of eyebrows and gave him a big bump as a result.


As to the Rasmussen MI poll, 8% are undecided in the poll. I can't link to it because I'm not a subscriber, but I've read elsewhere that 75% of the 8% are leaning towards Santorum, while 25% of the 8% are leaning towards Romney. Add in the leaners and you get:

Santorum: 41%
Romney: 34%
Paul: 13%
Gingrich: 11%


The PPP poll used a tighter likely voter screen than either Rasmussen or ARG, which is why they have a bigger margin for Santorum of +15, whereas ARG has it at +6. The point is, every Michigan poll shows Santorum leading, yet people still assume that Romney will win Michigan. Going back to the expectations game, this is a good thing if people expect Romney to win it. When Santorum wins, it'll shock them, and then Santorum will gain that much more momentum going into the next contest.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 5:49 pm 
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I wish I knew what the Romney camp was planning. As I've said we may not know until the first part of next week what their strategy is going to be. It looks like they must feel really comfortable with Arizona and believe they can come back in the last week in Michigan with a lot of advertising. It would be embarrassing to lose Michigan, but if he won Arizona they would spin it as winning Arizona was more important since it is winner take all.

The problem with losing Michigan though is that it would seem to forecast how things would go in Ohio, and if Romney loses big on Super Tuesday to include Ohio then they'll be no escaping the fact that he will no longer be able to be considered the frontrunner by anyone.

I also wonder if the Romney people believe Santorum cannot sustain his momentum and believe the same thing will happen to him now as it did after Iowa. They probably regret not keeping their foot on Newt after Iowa and giving him room to make a comeback. That could explain why they're running negative ads against Newt right now and not Santorum.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 6:28 pm 
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You can get an idea of what the candidates are thinking by looking at their campaign schedule and where they are going. Tuesday Santorum will be in Idaho, Wednesday he'll be in North Dakota, and Thursday he'll be in Michigan. Monday he was in Washington. Gingrich will be in Georgia. Romney has been doing fundraisers, and he'll be in Michigan. Romney has been in Arizona.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 7:06 pm 
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Trouble: 100,000 have already voted in Michigan.
http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/arc ... an/253106/

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 9:38 pm 
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The article doesn't say when Michiganders started voting?


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 9:47 pm 
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There's not really early voting in Michigan. You can absentee vote, but that's it. I'm sure that's what its referring to.

I was looking through the past primary results on realclearpolitics to see what the state was polled like and then comparing it to the actual results. Just for Santorum and Romney you can see that Santorum consistently has done better in the actual results than what he got in the polls leading up to election day.

Iowa:
Santorum +8.3
Romney +1.7

New Hampshire:
Santorum -2.1
Romney +1.8

South Carolina:
Santorum +5.2
Romney -0.6

Florida:
Santorum +0.4
Romney +4.6

Nevada:
Santorum +1.9
Romney +0.0

Colorado:
Santorum +13.3
Romney -2.1

Minnesota:
Santorum +12.0
Romney -7.1

Missouri +10.2
Romney -6.7

This averages to Romney doing 0.1 points worse in the results than he polled and Santorum doing 6.2 points better. Romney's supporters just aren't as motivated and don't turn out like Santorum's supporters. If Santorum is still leading in Michigan by the time Feb. 28th comes around, it's a pretty safe bet that Santorum will win the state.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 10:31 pm 
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