The latest on the presidential horse race.

Tag Archives: Rick Perry

Fox News Exit Poll Shows Mike Huckabee, Jeb Bush, Rick Perry Leading 2016 GOP Pack

While most of the polling last week focused on the midterms, Fox News conducted exit polls at the voting booths to get a sense of where “real” voters, i.e. those that actually vote as opposed to “likely voters,” stand on the 2016 presidential election. The results were somewhat surprising, especially given the media attention that likely candidates like Chris Christie and Rand Paul have received.

One thing to note is that national polling means very little once these candidates fall victim to the primary schedule. We all remember how well former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani was doing in the national polls in 2008 only to see his campaign sputter after poor showings at the early primaries.

So let’s take a look at the early primary states and see what we can make of the data.

In Iowa, the first-in-the-nation caucus, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee leads the pack with 18 percent. That’s not much of a surprise since Huckabee has led most of the polling out of Iowa and Huckabee won the caucus in 2008 with 34 percent of the vote.

The race is very close, however, with outgoing Texas Governor Rick Perry surging to 17 percent, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush at 15 percent, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul at 14 percent, and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie at 12.

In New Hampshire, the standings are more or less flipped. Bush leads the pack with 22 percent but Paul is right on his heels with 21 percent. Christie is at 15, Huckabee is at 10, and Perry is at just 4.

After New Hampshire we move to South Carolina, where Huckabee finds himself in the lead with 20 percent. Bush is second with 18 but Christie and Paul trail with 12 and Perry with 11.

So in the first three states, Huckabee appears to be very strong in two while Bush appears to have a shot at all three. Perry doesn’t figure to make much hay outside of Iowa, if that, and Christie doesn’t look likely to win any of the early contests.

While Iowa is rarely telling of who the eventual nominee will be, with Huckabee and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum winning the state in 2008 and 2012, respectively, the winner of the New Hampshire primary has gone on to win the nomination in the last three election cycles. That could mean good news for Jeb Bush though it’s hard to see a polarizing candidate like Paul use a possible New Hampshire win to gain momentum in a lot of northern and western states.

Don’t Look Now But Mike Huckabee Might Have Iowa Republican Caucus Already Won

USA Today/Suffolk, 8/23-8/26
Iowa Republican Caucus

  • Huckabee: 13
  • Christie: 11
  • Perry: 8
  • Paul: 7
  • Bush: 7
  • Ryan: 6
  • Santorum: 6
  • Cruz: 5
  • Rubio: 5
  • Walker: 4
  • Jindal: 3

While we have seen candidates rise and fall in just about every state and national poll, there has been one constant: Mike Huckabee has led every single Iowa Republican caucus poll this year and is the odds-on favorite to win the caucus as he did in 2008 when he won the state with 34 percent of the vote.

A new USA Today/Suffolk poll has Huckabee in first place with 13 percent of the vote. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is the only other candidate in the double-digits with 11 percent. The other candidates are struggling as Texas Governor Rick Perry is at 8 percent, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul are at 7 percent, Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan and Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum are at 6 percent, and Florida Senator Marco Rubio and Texas Senator Ted Cruz are at 5 percent.

Since February, Huckabee has led every single Iowa GOP poll, including a PPP poll (17 percent), WPA Research (14 percent), Loras College (15 percent), Magellan (17 percent), Vox Populi/Daily Caller (20 percent), another PPP (20 percent), and now this most recent poll.

Bush appeared to have a strong chance at the caucus but he has seen his 17-18 percent support from April plummet to just 7 percent in the latest survey.

Paul appeared to have a chance as well but he has been polling at 8-10 percent since March and is also at 7 percent in the latest survey.

Winning the Iowa caucus didn’t propel Huckabee to the nomination in 2008, but he did beat a seemingly stronger class of candidates, including John McCain, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, Fred Thompson, and Rudy Guiliani.

(Image courtesy of WEBN-TV)

Bush, Christie Top August GOP Primary Poll, Ted Cruz Surges to 3rd as Paul Plummets

McClatchy-Marist, 8/5-8/7
GOP Nomination
Bush: 13
Christie: 13
Cruz: 10
Ryan: 9
Rubio: 9
Perry: 7
Paul: 7
Walker: 4
Santorum: 3
Bobby Jindal: 2

A new McClatchy-Marist poll has found that former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie are tied atop the latest national Republican nomination poll while Kentucky Senator Rand Paul has fallen out of favor.

The poll, conducted between August 4 and August 7, sampling 342 registered Republican and Republican-leaning independents, found that Bush and Christie lead the current Republican pack with 13 percent apiece.

That’s the second straight McClatchy-Marist poll to see Bush with 13 percent while Christie has seen 12-13 percent in three straight.

Coming in behind the current front-runners is Texas Senator Ted Cruz with 10 percent. That’s a significant improvement from the 4-5 percent Cruz had seen in the last three McClatchy polls. It also comes as fellow Tea Party favorite Rand Paul has fallen from 12 percent in April to just 7 percent in this most recent poll. Paul had been at 9-12 percent in every McClatchy poll we’ve seen.

After scoring 19 percent support among independents in April, Paul is now at just 8 percent among unaffiliated voters and at a mere 6 percent among Republicans. Meanwhile, Christie now leads among independent voters with 16 percent while Ted Cruz has jumped from 5 percent to 12 percent.

Coming in behind Cruz was Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan and Florida Senator Marco Rubio with 9 percent apiece, Texas Governor Rick Perry with 7 percent, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker at 4 percent, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum at 3 percent, and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal at 2 percent.

None of those really went up or down too much except for Perry who went from 3 percent in April to 7 percent in August on the heels of his actions and statements on the border crisis.

(Image courtesy of Gage Skidmore)

Chris Christie Turns Tables on Rand Paul, Re-Takes Lead in New CNN Poll

CNN/ORC, 7/18-7/20
National GOP

  • Christie: 13
  • Paul: 12
  • Huckabee: 12
  • Perry: 11
  • Ryan: 11
  • Bush: 8
  • Cruz: 8
  • Rubio: 6
  • Walker: 5
  • Santorum: 3

After Kentucky Senator Rand Paul has led three straight CNN polls, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie appears to have bounced back and re-taken the lead.

The new CNN poll, conducted between July 18 and July 20, sampling 470 Republicans and Republican-leaning independent voters, found that Christie leads the national nomination polls with 13 percent of the vote.

The result comes as a bit of a surprise as Christie had been polling at 8-9 percent following his Bridgegate scandal.

Meanwhile, Paul, who has led the last three CNN polls with 13-16 percent of the vote, fell to 12 percent and second place, tied with Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee who remained in the low double-digits.

Another surprise is the surge of Texas Governor Rick Perry, likely helped by his high profile role in the current immigration crisis, finishing in third place with 11 percent of the vote, tied with Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan.

While Perry and Christie rose, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush slipped to just 8 percent after seeing 12-13 percent in the last two polls. Bush tied Texas Senator Ted Cruz who has seen 7-9 percent in five straight CNN polls.

The rest of the pack didn’t make much of a dent. Florida Senator Marco Rubio received 6 percent, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker received 5 percent, and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum received 3 percent.

Among just Republican-leaning independent voters, Paul finished in a first place tie with Huckabee with 13 percent apiece. Christie received 12 percent and tied Rick Perry. Cruz received 10 percent, Ryan got 7 percent, Rubio saw 6 percent, and Bush and Walker tied with 5 points each.

(Image courtesy of Gage Skidmore)

Republicans’ Best Chance to Beat Hillary is Rand Paul: New Poll

Rasmussen, 6/16-6/17

  • Clinton: 46, Paul: 39
  • Clinton: 47, Rubio: 36
  • Clinton: 50, Cruz: 37
  • Clinton: 50, Perry: 36
  • Clinton: 47, Christie: 33

A new Rasmussen poll has found that Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is the only candidate within striking distance of Hillary Clinton in the 2016 race.

According to the poll, conducted between June 16 and June 17, sampling 1,000 likely voters, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul trails Clinton by a margin of 46-39 and is the only candidate within single-digits of the presumptive Democratic nominee.

Paul had trailed Clinton by 9-10 points in the last three national polls we’ve seen since April.

The next closest candidate is Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who trails the former Secretary of State by a margin of 47-36. That is the same margin as we saw in a Bloomberg poll released earlier this month.

Texas Senator Ted Cruz trails the former First Lady by a margin of 50-37 and has now trailed Clinton by 11+ points in every poll since January.

Texas Governor Rick Perry finds himself trailing the former New York Senator by a margin of 50-36. He has trailed by 14+ points in every poll he has been included in.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie trails Clinton by a margin of 47-33. Christie is the only candidate with whom there is a significant discrepancy between this poll and other recent polls we’ve seen.

The Bloomberg poll released on in early June had Christie within 7 percent of Hillary.

A Fox News poll from April had him within eight points.

Of course, Christie trails pretty badly in most Republican primary polls so it may all be irrelevant regardless.

Iowa Voters Say Chris Christie Has Best Chance of Being Elected in 2016: New Poll

Des Moines Register, 5/27-5/30
Iowa, Best Chance to Defeat Democrat

  • Christie: 19
  • Bush: 16
  • Huckabee: 13
  • Paul: 13
  • Perry: 10
  • Ryan: 10
  • Jindal: 9
  • Rubio: 9
  • Cruz: 8
  • Santorum: 6
  • Walker: 6


There are two aspects to the primary process. One is appealing to the party base. If a Republican wants to be nominated, certainly he’ll have to say the right things about the economy, taxes, immigration, and social issues. Of course, then comes the question of electability. Winning a primary often costs a candidate some points in the general election because they have alienated voters outside of their base. Perhaps this is why a new Des Moines Register poll shows moderate Chris Christie as the most “electable candidate.”

The poll, conducted between May 27 and May 30, sampling 400 likely Iowa Republican caucus goers, found that voters see New Jersey Governor Chris Christie with the best chance to defeat a Democratic candidate in 2016.

While 19 percent of respondents said Christie has the best shot to win the general election, a very close 16 percent said fellow moderate and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush has the best shot.

Coming in tied for third were former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul with 13 percent.

Behind them were Texas Governor Rick Perry and Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan with 10 percent.

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and Florida Senator Marco Rubio got 9 percent, Texas Senator Ted Cruz got 8 percent, and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker got 6 percent.

Interestingly, Christie also received the lowest favorable-unfavorable split of any of the candidate. Just 42 percent have a favorable view of Christie and 40 percent have an unfavorable view.

Paul Ryan has the highest favorable rating by far with 56 percent having a favorable view of the former Veep nominee and just 23 percent seeing him in an unfavorable light.

Rubio got a 43 favorable-23 unfavorable split, Perry got a 49-32 split, Huckabee got a 50-34, Paul got a 46-30, Jindal got a 35-19, Cruz got a 38-26, Santorum got a 41-31, and Bush got a 44-38.

(Image courtesy of Gage Skidmore)

New CNN Poll Shows 3-Way Tie in Republican Primary

CNN, 5/2-5/4

  • Paul: 13
  • Bush: 13
  • Ryan: 12
  • Huckabee: 10
  • Christie: 9
  • Perry: 8
  • Cruz: 7
  • Walker: 7
  • Rubio: 6
  • Santorum: 2

After Mike Huckabee led almost every poll he has been included in this year, Rand Paul and Jeb Bush have leapfrogged the Fox News host and Paul Ryan is right on their heels in a new CNN poll.

The poll, conducted between May 2 and May 4, sampling 473 people, found that Kentucky Senator Rand Paul and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush are in a tie for first place with 13 percent while Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan is in a virtual tie with the duo at 12 percent.

Paul has now seen 12-15 percent in seven of the last eight national polls we have seen so that seems to be where he stands at the moment.

Bush has been all the talk lately and has seen a nice bump from single-digits to 11-14 percent in the last six polls we have seen.

Ryan, on the other hand, was polling at 5-9 percent in February and March but has now seen exactly 12 percent in four of the last five polls we have seen so this is a strong turnaround.

Meanwhile, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee underperformed in this poll, finishing fourth with just 10 percent. Huckabee had seen at least 13 percent and as much as 18 percent in eight of the last nine polls that have included him.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie remains in the middle of the pack, finishing with 9 percent in the second straight national poll we have seen.

The rest of the candidates remain longshots. Texas Governor Rick Perry received 8 percent but he seems to only do well in these CNN polls for some reason. He has not gotten more than 5 percent in any other poll this year and many don’t even bother to include him.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker garnered 7 percent, the highest we have seen him poll at. He had received exactly 5 percent in the last six polls that have included him.

Texas Senator Ted Cruz is tied with Walker at 7 percent and has now received exactly 7 points in three straight polls.

Florida Senator Marco Rubio lags behind them with 6 percent and has gotten 6 percent of the vote in four of the last six polls we have seen.

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum trails everyone with 2 percent of the vote and has not seen more than 3 percent in most polls.

The polls are starting to get a bit more consistent so we are getting a better idea of where every candidate stands prior to the spring and summer congressional primaries.

(Image courtesy of Gage Skidmore)

CNN Polls: How to Know a Bad Poll When You See It

Earlier this week we looked at a CNN poll that didn’t make any sense. It didn’t make sense because no matter how much critics may decry the shortfallings of opinion polls, trends are undeniable and CNN’s data simply didn’t fit.

As everyone knows, not all polls are created equal. As someone who studied political science and statistics for the better part of a decade, it’s clear that you can get misleading data if your survey methodology is off at all. And CNN’s was definitely off. So let’s take a look at what makes a bad poll a bad poll and a “good” poll a better poll.

First, the numbers. CNN has Rand Paul in first with 15 percent. Paul has not finished first in any poll since Mike Huckabee began to be included in polls and has been polling at 11-14 percent since. It’s not out of the question that Paul is at 15 percent but certainly Huckabee is in better standing than the 10 percent CNN shows him at. We know this because he has been polling at 16-18 percent since January and has led every poll.

CNN has Rick Perry in third place with 11 percent. That’s ridiculous because we have well over a year of polling data that doesn’t have Perry higher than 6 percent at best, 2-5 percent recently, and most companies have stopped even including him in the polls. The same goes for Chris Christie’s 8 percent. We have seen Christie at a very consistent 12-14 percent since the whole Bridgegate debacle, we know where he stands right now.

So how did CNN get it so wrong? Bad methodology.

For one, the poll only sampled 367 people. Considering this is a national poll, that’s a tiny number. PPP regularly samples at least 500-600 people while Quinnipiac has only been releasing polls with 800+ respondents.

But that’s not the only place where they went wrong. Since Republican primary voters aren’t only registered Republicans, polls include a number of “Republican leaning independents.” How many? Good question.

McClatchy, for example, samples 64 percent registered Republicans and 36 percent Republican leaning independents. CNN, on the other hand, sampled 50 percent Republicans, 50 percent independents. That’s an incredibly high number of independent voters, far more than the percentage of Republican primary voters that are not registered Republicans. In some states, you can’t even vote in the Republican primary if you are not a registered Republican. And apparently these independents really like Rick Perry.

(Image courtesy of Gage Skidmore)

Ted Cruz Takes Huge Lead in Texas Primary

University of Texas/Texas Tribune, 2/7-2/17
Texas GOP

  • Cruz: 28
  • Perry: 10
  • Paul: 10
  • Ryan: 8
  • Bush: 8
  • Jindal: 6
  • Walker: 6
  • Rubio: 6
  • Christie: 4
  • Santorum: 4

Homefield advantage isn’t just important in sports, it’s quickly becoming a key aspect of the 2016 primary schedule. With Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio sitting pretty in Florida and Paul Ryan and Scott Walker leading in Wisconsin, Texas Senator Ted Cruz has taken a homefield lead himself, leading the Lone Star State’s primary race with a whopping 28 percent of the vote.

According a new University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll, conducted between February 7 and February 17, sampling 543 Republican primary voters, the Tea Party favorite remains the odds-on favorite in the state’s primary race, leading every other potential candidate by nearly 20 points.

While Cruz is seeing a massive homefield advantage, Texas Governor Rick Perry only gets a slight home state bump. Perry finished second in the poll but only received 10 percent of the vote, far less than the freshman senator. In the last poll, conducted in October, Perry received the same 10 percent of the vote.

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, the son of former Texas Congressman Ron Paul, tied Perry with 10 percent of the vote, a significant bump from the 6 percent he saw in October.

Every other potential candidate failed to reach double-digits as the large GOP pack remains hopelessly split. Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan finished behind Paul with 8 percent of the vote, tying former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, the brother of former President and Texas Governor George W. Bush.

Bobby Jindal, the Governor of neighboring Louisiana, received 6 percent of the vote, as did Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. In October, Jindal was polling at just 3 percent while Walker received a mere 1 percent. Florida Senator Marci Rubio received 6 percent as well, the same percentage as he saw in October.

Trailing the pack were New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, finishing last with 4 percent apiece. Neither had gotten much traction in Texas to begin with.

Only 12 percent of respondents said they were undecided so Cruz’s lead is essentially insurmountable unless other candidates drop out of the race. Cruz owns a 52 percent favorable rating among Texas Republicans so the Tea Party favorite has a good chance to disrupt the primary calendar with a big win in his home state.

(Image courtesy of Gage Skidmore)