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Polls have usefulness as a thermometer of sorts; they measure the political temperature at any one moment, but it's tricky to use them to predict the temperature in the future, especially two years out. That's true of the so-called scientific polling, and more so of the self-selected sampling that occurs with these Internet straw polls. However, they do provoke interesting discussions about our political assumptions and attitudes.
Take today's poll, just below us. GOP Bloggers registered 10,263 responses across the blogosphere in the last 24 hours -- and over 3600 came from CQ readers. The CQ results show some surprising strength for Rudy Giuliani, who garnered 30% of first-choice selections, followed by Newt Gingrich at 25% and Mitt Romney at 24%. Those three potential candidates were the only ones who scored positive on acceptablity, with Romney oddly winning that category with 62%, compared to 59% for Rudy and 44% for Newt. The three most unacceptable candidates were Chuck Hagel (-57%), Bill Frist (-53%), and George Pataki (-50%).
John McCain only scored a -38%. Are you guys mellowing, or what?
The midterms, according to CQ readers, benefitted Rudy and Newt almost equally (33% and 28%). This makes some sense. Rudy has no connection to the Republican Congress, and Gingrich led the 1994 revolution that this session's leadership squandered. Romney came close with 26%, but John McCain trailed badly with 10%, which is not surprising.
What I find most surprising is the support Rudy still gets with CQ readers. He has consistently scored high in these straw polls. The real story, though, is the return of Newt as a real contender in this race. The midterms have raised his profile considerably. He has plenty of negatives still -- but then again, so does Hillary Clinton, and she's likely to be the Democratic nominee. He would relish the opportunity to beat the Clintons, I'm sure.
Some of you complained about the lack of choices, or the way the demographic questions were worded. I understand both your frustration and the intent of the straw-poll architect. (I didn't design it.) I'll make sure your concerns get heard.Sphere It View blog reactions
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