Poll from Real Clear Politics:
And Google Trends:
Why didn’t you include Ron Paul in the Google Trends? He’s currently in second place:
Also take notice that he scores the lowest on being mentioned by news articles.
Bet against those trending high in Google Trends. That’s the transitory novelty boost that an emerging candidate gets when appearing on the scene or catching some media attention and that effect was precisely what made people think that McCain had a chance of winning (or was even the favorite to win) the 2008 election after announcing Sarah Palin as his running mate.
The Google trend spike in interest in Palin on the day and day after she announced she wasn’t running, and the sharp decrease thereafter, is a good illustration of how transitory these things can be.
Transitory is what I get from these, but it isn’t a bad thing. I think the google trends are vey telling, especially when compared to the polls.
Perry, Palin, and Bachmann all have these flavor of the week spikes. They might be back, but maybe not. Huntsman and Santorum should clearly drop out. They’ve had their chance and are just flatlining. Is Gingrich running for VP? Paul is holding a very steady climb near third place despite the media blackout. Romney seems to be skating by on name recognition and media love, but obviously no one cares enough to look up his positions. Cain is looking strong, but unstable. I don’t know that he can hold it.
The thing about the trends is that they don’t represent positive or negative, just interest. I think they also represent grassroots support. Those with a consistent buzz have people organizing, those near the bottom have big media to do it for them.
It’s not that I don’t think all this stuff is important or anything, but wouldn’t it be better if the convention delegates were all picked, like they were in the days of yesteryear, like the donks picked super delegates last time around, and then have the candidates actually picked at the convention by said delgates, as used to be the case? Then normal people wouldn’t have to think about who should be president until at earliest August of next year. Huge win I’d say.
Either Gingrich or Santorum, possibly both, might enjoy a “flavor of the week spike” sometime between now and the time the voting starts. Such a spike might remind enough people of their names that they could leverage it into a talk show or some other way of cashing in. I’d guess the hope for that is what motivates each one to stay in the race; I don’t think either of them has a realistic path to the nomination. Granted, in October 2007 I didn’t think McCain had a shot at the nomination, so what do I know.
As for Huntsman, he has a chance, a slim chance, of winning the nomination. Say Bachmann wins Iowa, Cain wins South Carolina, and Perry comes second in both states. That may not be the likeliest scenario, but it’s hardly impossible. Then all three will head into Florida as contenders for the movement-conservative vote.
If those things happen, and Romney loses New Hampshire to Huntsman (also possible, though unlikely,) the former Massachusetts governor and New Hampshire homeowner would likely see his support collapse as it did when he lost there in 2008. Huntsman would then head into Florida as the only choice for establishment-minded Republicans, while movement conservatives would be split three ways. With his father’s money, Huntsman would be in a position to leverage a win in Florida into a commanding position on Super Tuesday, and thus to front-runner status.
Again, none of this is hugely likely to occur. But there’s enough of a chance that it makes sense for Huntsman, Gingrich, and Santorum to stay in the race.
What a sad display. Paul’s numbers in RCP are the most stable (other than barely-registering Huntsman), which suggests that he can’t break out of his hard-core supporters. I hope that I am wrong (he has my vote) but that is the way it looks at the moment. Romney also has not had a great deal of volatility; he has the Republicans who want a safe, “electable” guy (like the Dems who favored Kerry in 2004) but most want someone else. None of these other jokers has the heft to stop Romney. So yet again, the choice is between Diversity Made Flesh, the Obamessiah, or a neocon-backed Republican that most Republicans didn’t want in the first place.
Hope: I won’t speak for the author, but my guess would be that Ron Paul is a nut, and doesn’t stand the slightest chance of getting the nomination. He seems to hold a constant rating in the high single digits in polls, those people being the confirmed Paulaniacs, but he never goes any higher than that.
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