The Run on Thompson Futures Does Little to Erode Giuliani’s Support


It can be difficult properly citing things here in the blogosphere.  This is from MSNBC’s “First Read” via the Hotline via NRO:

The newest Wall Street Journal / NBC national poll shows Giuliani still leading the pack, even during the Spring of Fred Thompson.  You’ll recall conventional wisdom– the same conventional wisdom that says social conservatives don’t really know the Mayor and will not like him when they learn– says Fred Thompson will seriously erode Rudy Giuliani’s support.

Well, Giuliani still stomps the field with 33%, to McCain’s 22%.  Thompson comes in third at 17%, and Romney is consistent if nothing else, falling last again amongst frontrunners with 12%.

A similar poll in March had Giuliani at 37%.  So he’s declined 4 points during the month Fred Thompson has been pitching more woo than a frat boy at a kegger.  Has any one else noticed he has a national op-ed every freaking day?  Four points, I would suspect, is pretty close to the margin of error.

So yet again it looks likes conventional wisdom is right about as often as phrenology.


One Response to “The Run on Thompson Futures Does Little to Erode Giuliani’s Support”

  1. Luther C. Hardy Says:

    Dear PA Rudy Blogger:

    I think you have hit the proverbial nail on the head with your assessment of Thompson’s effect on Rudy’s lead. In this light, I though you mike like to see the following comments I made on the general subject of Rudy’s poll numbers in another posting that was prompted by the NBC News/Wall St. Journal poll:

    As of 12 April 2007, Rudy’s lead in the Real Clear Politics average of the six (6) most recent polls stood at 16.4% over John McCain in second place. This lead had spiked up from 13.6% over the preceding week to ten days.

    Subsequently to 12 April, Rudy’s lead dropped to 11.1%, and then went back up to 12.0%. This dip in Rudy’s average lead was due demonstrably to two polls, one by ARG and one by CNN, in which his lead dipped to 4% (27%-23%) and 3% (27%-24%), respectively.

    Each of these two polls were taken in the immediate aftermath of McCain’s “war speech” at V.M.I., and the broader questioning, i.e., beyond the bare fact of specific candidate preference, was oriented toward the Iraq War.

    This might very well lead one to speculate that McCain’s “mini spike” in these two polls was due to support within the GOP for the President’s handling of the war and McCain’s support thereof. In fact, in two other polls, released on the same day, but where the questioning was either limited to specific candidate preference, or at least not oriented toward the Iraq War, Rudy’s lead over McCain stood at 22% (CBS News/47%-25%) and 14% (Rasmussen/33%-19%). Note: Even RCP treated the CBS News poll as a statistical anomaly because it included only the “Big Tree”, i.e., Rudy, McCain, and Romney.

    Now, let me hasten to add that no one has been more unstinting than I in his praise for the genuine political courage shown by Senator McCain in his support for the President’s conduct of the War in Iraq, as well as for the truly eloquent way in which he gave voice to that support at V.M.I. Such genuine admiration should not, however, diminish one’s ability to recognize the statistical facts as they are: The two polls showing McCain within 4% and 3% of Rudy, however accurate they may have been in reflecting genuine admiration for John McCain, were statistical outliers.

    As of this morning, 26 April 2007, the two polls in question have now “washed out” of the RCP average of the five (5) most recent polls. Rudy’s lead is back up to 13.6% over McCain in second place, and it is exactly where it stood as of the first week in April. This includes the NBC News/Wall St. Journal poll discussed in this posting. The RCP average numbers:

    Rudy: 32.8%
    McCain: 19.2%
    Thompson: 11.2%
    Romney: 10%
    Newt: 07.3%

    The larger truth: From late October 2006, through mid-to-late January 2007, Rudy maintained a consistent, albeit modest, lead in almost every poll, always in single digits and usually within the margin of error. For whatever reason, from late January to late March 2007, Rudy numbers “took off” on an almost unbelievable “spike”, reaching 24% in one instance, exceeding 20% on no less than nine occasions, and approaching 20% in the RCP average.

    Since late March, Rudy’s numbers have come down from that spike, but, apart from the McCain “mini spike”, they have settled out, from late March to late April 2007, at a level far higher that they were before Rudy’s own spike that began in late January. Since that time, again apart from the McCain mini spike, Rudy’s lead has consistently been in double figures (16 times), always outside the margin of error, frequently in excess of 15% (5 times) and twice (in April) in excess of 20%.

    Finally, sorting through the welter of numbers, it seems to me that certain conclusions are as plain as the proverbial “nose on one’s face”:

    1. The spike in Rudy’s poll numbers was due principally to his long-anticipated announcement that he was in fact running for President.

    2. The decline in Rudy’s poll numbers was due to the inclusion of Thompson in the polls, as well as to a statistically expected bleed-off from the spike.

    3. As discussed above, John McCain’s mini spike was due to his speech at V.M.I.

    4. The fact that Rudy’s poll numbers have settled out at a substantial lead, far above where they were before the spike and well outside the margin of error, even with the inclusion of Thompson, indicates that a clear plurality of the GOP want Rudy to be the Party’s nominee for President.

    5. At this moment in time, given the amount of time left to go and the normal vagaries of the electoral process, Rudy position as the frontrunner is about as solid as it could be.

    6. My ultimate conclusion: Run Rudy Run!

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