Wednesday, January 16, 2008

# Posted 3:49 PM by Ariel David Adesnik  

DO THE NATIONAL POLLS MATTER YET? Naturally, I'm disappointed that John McCain lost the Michigan primary, and by a considerable margin. As I console myself, I'm wondering if we're at the point where national polls of likely primary voters have anything meaningful to say about the nomination.

In general, I agree with the conventional wisdom that the national polls are a lagging indicator, almost to the point of being meaningless. Rudy Giuliani led in the national polls for all of 2007, and John McCain was a sort of front-runner before that.

But as we get closer to February 5, which is sort of a primary on a national scale, have the national polls begun to matter? Unsurprisingly, I hope they do. Since winning in New Hampshire, McCain seems to have absorbed all of Giuliani's support in the nationals, breaking out to a ten point lead, on average. One clear test of whether this shift is significant is the degree to which Romney's first victory (not counting his gold medal in Wyoming) puts him over the top on a national level, or at least narrows the gap considerably.

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(3) opinions -- Add your opinion

Opinion polls tell us what the public wants us to believe about them but not what they intend to do.
Obama's poll rating ahead of Clinton is case in point.
Saying that, they are usually more accurate. Clinton's tears may have changed things in a state with no real leaning either way but ten points out is still very off putting for future polls on elections.
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