Tuesday, July 29, 2014

First Look at 2016

I put little faith in political polls far out from elections. Until the general public begins paying attention to politics (to the extent that most people pay any attention at all, it is only in the last few months of the campaigns) ... until then, the polls are mostly just a test of name recognition.

Nonetheless, I thought this poll on the 2016 Republican nomination was interesting. Not because it tells us who the Republican nominee might be, but because it tells us that we don't have a clue. Here are the top five:
  • Chris Christie 13% 
  • Rand Paul 12% 
  • Mike Huckabee 12% 
  • Rick Perry 11% 
  • Paul Ryan 11%
For all my adult life, the Republicans have almost always had a clear frontrunner far in advance, and that frontrunner has ended up being the nominee (the only exception I can think of is '08, when Rudolph Giuliani and John McCain were running neck-and-neck in the polls, with Giuliani slightly ahead; Giuliani's campaign imploded and McCain got the nomination).

This time the race is wide open. I didn't even bother to check the margin of error on the poll, since clearly all of these are well within whatever it is. As a matter of fact, all the other candidates, including 'somebody else', 'none of the above', and 'no opinion' are probably within MoE, too.

This coming nomination battle should be a lot more fun than Republicans have had in decades.

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