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As FHQ has not updated its 2012 presidential trial heat poll graphics since December, there is a lot of catching up to do. And what better place to start than with the most talked about candidate, former Alaska governor Sarah Palin.
Let me make a few notes before diving in to all of this. First of all, I will spare you the mess of all the candidate data being dumped into one post by splitting this up into one post per candidate. We'll start with Palin and move on to the other candidates who have been surveyed multiple times in a hypothetical match ups against the president. I don't know whether I'll continue this practice in the future, but it makes sense in trying to synthesize all of the data from the first half of 2010. One addition I have made here is to add a table with all the past numbers included (dates, sample sizes, margin of error, etc.). [You'll find that at the conclusion of the post.] Such an inclusion likely works against the traditional -- all candidates in one -- presentation of the data if kept permanently (and I think it should be. There is too much data now not to.). The best course of action in future is likely to have timely breaking news-type updates when new polls are released followed by updated graphics for each candidate and finally a post discussing the trends across all candidates. That is how we will procede in the short term anyway.
There are a few other things to mention as well. Obviously, things are getting bunched up with so many polls having been conducted in the cases of some candidates. This is most problematic in terms of reporting the polling firms on the figure itself. It is really pronounced in the case of Obama v. Palin. I doubt this practice will be able to survive for much longer. FHQ is currently looking into some Flash- and Java-based alternatives that will allow users to simply hover over a data point on the graph and receive the attendant information. I'll keep you posted on that progress and in the meantime, if anyone has suggestions on how to do that relatively quickly and easily, please just drop a note in the comments section or shoot me an email.
And what of Obama and Palin?
And what of Obama and Palin?
For the sake of brevity, FHQ will confine this catch-up analysis to the overall trend throughout 2010. A poll-by-poll analysis eight months into the year seems like overkill. Public Policy Polling has surveyed this match up every month since March 2009 and as such is by far the most consistent player on the 2012 polling front. Palin has fairly regularly brought up the rear compared to the other three regulars (Gingrich, Huckabee and Romney) against Obama and yet, she, like the others has seen her share of respondents increase in 2010 as Obama's approval has declined. The one noticeable trend is that Palin does better in the PPP (and Rasmussen) surveys than she does in polls conducted by other firms. That is likely to elicit the classic robo-call versus live (phone) interview debate among some, but with so few polls from other outlets, FHQ will simply rate it as something to keep tabs on in the future. Palin's PPP presence has shifted from consistently in the 30s in 2009 to consistently in the 40s in 2010. Other firms are more likely to find her in the 30s in 2010.
The bottom line in this hypothetical match up is that Obama stays closer to 50% against Palin than he does against any of the other regular GOP names in the presidential race. I'll dispense with the straight averages comparison -- it is included in the table below -- but will mention the regression time series. Taking that trend into consideration, Obama leads Palin 49-41. That is all well and good, but none of this particularly matters until and unless the Republican nomination race in 2012 boils down to a two person race where general election electability becomes the argument a la Obama v. Clinton in 2008.
|2012 Presidential Trial Heat Polling (Obama v. Palin)|
|Poll||Date||Margin of Error||Sample||Obama||Palin||Undecided|
|Politico [Internet]||July 9-14, 2010||+/- 3.1%||1011 likely voters||48||36||16|
|Time||July 12-13, 2010||+/- --%||1003 adults/873 r.v.||55||34||4|
|Public Policy Polling||July 9-12, 2010||+/- 3.8%||667 likely voters||46||46||9|
|Public Policy Polling||June 4-7, 2010||+/- 3.8%||650 likely voters||50||41||9|
|Public Policy Polling||May 7-9, 2010||+/- %||707 likely voters||50||43||6|
|Public Policy Polling||April 9-11, 2010||+/- 3.9%||622 likely voters||47||45||7|
|CNN||April 9-11, 2010||+/- 3.5%|| 907 reg. voters||55||42||--|
|Clarus Research||March 17-20, 2010||+/- 3%||1050 reg. voters||52||34||14|
|Public Policy Polling||March 12-14, 2010||+/- 2.6%||1403 likely voters||49||41||10|
|Harris [Internet]||March 10-12, 2010||+/- --%|| 2344 adults||52||35||13|
|Public Policy Polling||Feb. 13-15, 2010||+/- 3.5%||743 likely voters||50||43||7|
|Public Policy Polling||Jan. 18-19, 2010||+/- 2.8%||1151 likely voters||49||41||9|
|Public Policy Polling||Dec. 4-7, 2009||+/- 2.8%||1253 likely voters||50||44||6|
|Rasmussen||Nov. 24, 2009||+/- 3.5%||800 likely voters||46||43||3|
|Public Policy Polling||Nov. 13-15, 2009||+/- 3%||1066 likely voters||51||43||5|
|Public Policy Polling||Oct. 16-19, 2009||+/- 3.5%||766 likely voters||52||40||8|
|Public Policy Polling||Sept. 18-21, 2009||+/- 3.9%||621 likely voters||53||38||9|
|Clarus Research||Aug. 14-18, 2009||+/- 3.1%||1003 voters||53||34||13|
|Public Policy Polling||Aug. 14-17, 2009||+/- 3.3%||909 likely voters||52||38||10|
|Marist||Aug. 3-6, 2009||+/- 5%||854 reg. voters||56||33||11|
|Rasmussen||July 16-17, 2009||+/- 3%||1000 likely voters||48||42||3|
|Public Policy Polling||July 15-16, 2009||+/- 4.1%||577 likely voters||51||43||6|
|Public Policy Polling||June 12-16, 2009||+/- 3.9%||638 likely voters||52||40||8|
|Public Policy Polling||May 14-18, 2009||+/- 3.1%||1000 likely voters||56||37||7|
|Public Policy Polling||April 17-19, 2009||+/- 3.7%||686 likely voters||53||41||6|
|Public Policy Polling||March 13-15, 2009||+/- 3.7%||691 likely voters||55||35||10|