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Saturday, August 08, 2015

Comment Response

I wasn't going to post today unless we got our first post-debate poll (WHERE IS IT!). However, a thoughtful comment on yesterday's "Debate Grades" post deserved a thorough response, out of which I might as well make a post. Below, I've pasted the comment from the reader, Billy, in italics. My thoughts are in bold font.

I'd have to disagree with you on the Trump grade. I thought what he did was play to his supporters really well. He isn't going to be picking up any voters, but I think he did enough to solidify mid-teens in the next few polls, which probably keeps him out front for the next few weeks.

But can't he both play to his supporters and drop some knowledge? It's not like they're against facts. (Or maybe they are?) I agree his supporters probably weren't turned off too badly by the performance, but he also didn't pick up anyone new, either. I made a parenthetical note next to his grade that I really don't know if the debate will hurt his numbers; I just think he was an embarrassment during the debate and after it.

Bush's performance wasn't memorable, but could he be taking a Romney strategy for the first few debates? Romney was the front runner, like Bush, and skipped the first debate and tried to keep a low spotlight until Iowa was in sight. Bush probably is doing the same. He is going to be around for Iowa, alls he has to do is not lose the election. Let Trump take the jabs for a while and he can stay under the radar at about 10% and still be in the good spot for the stretch.

I strongly agree Bush is still the favorite, but he's not nearly as certain as Romney was four years ago. Romney was up big in Iowa, New Hampshire, and usually nationally. It was all about protecting those leads for him. He was also always hovering around 25 percent nationally. Bush is half that. Yes, he's playing the long game for sure, but that was a strikingly vanilla performance for someone who isn't yet in that great a position.

I thought Rand Paul was not good at all. He did play his Libertarian part well, so I don't think he will lose much in the polling, but I will be surprised if he gains ground.

Paul probably alienated more Republicans than he earned, but at this point he's just trying to stop hemorrhaging polling numbers. He reasserted his libertarian streak from which he had been drifting, a drift which coincided with his drop in the polls from 3/4/5 to 8. That performance, bad as it was for most viewers, can be the start of the slow climb back up. The Paul/Christie exchange is a good example of what he was trying to accomplish. Libertarian Republicans thought Paul won, mainstream Republicans thought Christie won. But Paul wasn't trying to win over mainstream Republicans. He can try again after polling closer to double digits.

My predictions for the first post debate national poll
1. Trump(Though less than 20%)
2. Bush
3. Rubio
4. Walker
5. Cruz
6. Huckabee
7. Carson
8. Kasich
9. Paul
10. Christie
11. Fiorina (though I think she is on her way to the top 10)
12.+ All Marginal, making no ground up

An interesting point will be to see if Trump loses 5+ points, if the difference between 10th and 11th becomes significantly bigger than the 1 point it is now on RCP.

I agree Rubio will shoot up into the top four and the rest of the field will hold generally steady. I'm reading that a lot of people thought Carson won the debate, though. I thought he was genuinely bad with substance, but since he was so good with style, it should help him stay in the top six. Maybe Huckabee is the one who drops out of it to make room for Rubio.

Ranking Kasich, previously #10, over Paul, previously #8, makes sense given how I interpreted the debate, but we have yet to see if what played so well for Kasich on his home stage also played well across the country. That's what I'm most eager to see with the next few polls.

Fiorina should pop more than anyone, and it makes sense that she breach the top ten, but then who in the top ten did poorly enough to get replaced by her? Christie (#9 by the polls) and Kasich (#10) did well. Of course, #8 Paul struggled, but he was at four percent and galvanized his base. Then we expect #7 Rubio to pop, too. Surely the top six is out of reach for now. I'm not sure who Fiorina will pass. But make no mistake, she'd be a dangerous #11. Christie should watch his considerable back.

1 comment:

Billy Sullivan said...

I had the same problem in trying to predict the ranking. The people I feel that could fall the most, like Huckabee or Carson, have over 6%. I don't see their support cut in half too. If Trump slumps a little bit, everyone else will just see their numbers hold steady or rise, just other candidates (ie Rubio) will rise at a higher rate. This would mean a bigger gap between 10-11, so cracking the top 10 just got that much harder.

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