Tuesday, December 21, 2010

PPP: Romney's Conservative Problem; Update: More bad news for Romney

Although I believe Romney's problems with conservatives to be real, I've come to the conclusion that PPP would like nothing more than Mike Huckabee to be the GOP nominee in 2012. Having said that, these numbers aren't pretty if you're in Mitt's camp.
We've polled eight states, not including Massachusetts, since the 2010 election ended. Romney has the lowest favorability rating of the Republican top 4 with conservatives in every single one of those states except Michigan, where he probably benefits from his dad having been the Governor. And it's not like Romney is just slightly less well liked than the others with conservatives- it's a large gap, particularly when you compare him with Palin or Huckabee. Romney's average favorability is 58%. Gingrich is next worst at 64%, followed by Huckabee at 73%, and Palin does best at 77%.
Favorability among conservatives:

Not surprisingly given that they like him the least, Romney also does the worst with conservatives when Republicans are asked who their top choice as the 2012 nominee is. In six of the eight individual states Romney is last with conservatives with the exceptions being Michigan again and Wisconsin, where he narrowly edges out Gingrich to finish third. On average Romney gets just 14% with conservatives in these preliminary trial heats with Gingrich at 17%, Huckabee at 21%, and Palin at 22%.
Percentage of vote among conservatives:

And because conservatives make up the lion's share of Republican primary voters, it should come as no surprise that his issues with them are now leading to poor numbers for him overall in these early snapshots. Of the last eight states we've polled Romney has led in only one- Michigan- and even there he could only salvage a tie with Huckabee. Huckabee has led in four states overall with Palin ahead in three and Tim Pawlenty ahead in his home state. Romney's average performance has been 15% with Gingrich at 16%, Palin at 20%, and Huckabee at 21%.
Percentage of vote overall:

I see many of our regulars have weighed in on the comment section of PPP's report. Nice!

Read the rest HERE

Update: PPP expanded on this today.
Yesterday we wrote about part of Mitt Romney's problem with conservatives- they simply don't like him nearly as much as they do any of the other top Republican candidates for President. Today we're going to tackle the other part of Romney's- and any other Republican perceived to be a moderate's- problem with conservatives. They're likely to make up a much larger share of primary voters in 2012 than they did in 2008.

Over the last six weeks we've polled folks who identify themselves as likely Republican voters in six states that also had an exit poll for their Republican primaries in 2008. Comparing the numbers by ideology on our recent polls with what they were for the last election makes it clear that a Republican electorate already dominated by conservatives has become even more so over the last few years.


-On average the percentage of GOP primary voters identifying themselves as conservatives in these states in 2008 was 63%. Now it's 73%. And not surprisingly in addition to the decline of liberals as an influential force in the GOP moderates are on the way down too- from an average of 29% of the primary electorate in 2008 to now 24%.

These numbers make it clear how severe Romney's problems with conservatives are- there just aren't that many moderate to liberal GOP voters left to prop him back up. There's been a thought that a centrist could win the nomination in 2012 if the conservatives cannibalize each other but I don't think moderates have a big enough piece of the pie to get someone nominated even if there are a glut of conservative candidates. The ideological composition of the GOP at this point is such that it's probably just flat impossible for someone perceived as a moderate to be their nominee.
If their recent surge to the right is any indication, the Romney camp is fully aware of this phenomenon. It also indicates that Mike Huckabee needs to fire his pollster.

The rest of the article and a detailed chart of PPP's data can be read HERE


illinoisguy said...

The rest of the story is that in these exact same polls, even with CONSERVATIVES Sarah Palin ran 6.75 percentage points behind Mitt Romney when matched up 1 on 1 with Obama. If you read what PPP is saying, they are hoping that they can get rid of Romney during the primaries, otherwise, they know they are in trouble. Furthermore, they are praying for Palin to win our primary.

Anonymous said...

"If you read what PPP is saying, they are hoping that they can get rid of Romney during the primaries" For once Conservatives agree with PPP.

"Furthermore, they are praying for Palin to win our primary." Yes, it would be nice to have Mrs. Palin or at least somebody like her.


Right Wingnut said...


If they want her to be the nominee, then why do they continue to crow about her numbers vs. Obama. I think they're trying to scare people away from supporting her. Since PPP is a Dem polling firm, you'd think they would shut up about it.

I think they're praying for Huck...

Anonymous said...

"I think they're praying for Huck..." Ah no, they are not praying for him either. If they did pray it would only for THE ONE.


Doug NYC GOP said...

To look at this another way, this looks to be Romney's floor and many of the other's ceiling.

Romney has kept a faily low profile since the spring and the end of his book tour. Still working hard, but under the radar for the most part. During this same time, Newt, Palin and Huck have been on Fox News, book tours, talk radio, almost daily, and not a one can break through to a clear GOP lead and in head to heads with Obama. To think this has no effect on poll numbers is naive.

There have also been a lot of conversations about ObamaCare and ROmneyCare, and yet, despite all the polls and interest, you'd think someone would the direct question on how it effects Romney. (Maybe they did and don't like the results.)

I'd wager Romney's "problem" with conservatives will be and is easier to turnaround, than Palin's problem with just about everyone BUT conservatives.

Anonymous said...

PPP's own summary of their results is that the top four candidates (Romney, Palin, Gingrich, Huckabee) are generally within MOE of one another and that any could win the primary in most of these states. The crosstabs also show Sarah Palin as the top choice of liberal Republicans in several states. How does does Sarah Palin get to be the top choice of liberal Republicans? Does that result cast doubt on their results? Most of the time, Huckabee does better among liberals than Romney does. If Huckabee is so conservative and Romney so liberal, why do more liberal Republicans favor Huckabee?

In order to get a sample that PPP identifies as "Republican voters," they should have gone to the election commission to get the names of people who voted in Republican primaries. That information is available and accessible in most places. If their sample population is made of people who voted in Republican primaries, they are likely sampling the same population that will vote in the 2012 primaries.

Anonymous said...

"The crosstabs also show Sarah Palin as the top choice of liberal Republicans in several states. " Yeah, all 9 of them.


illinoisguy said...

To be fair, the liberal number here is meaningless. As OJ pointed out, there are less than 10 in most of these surveys.

Anonymous said...

Haha, thanks IG!

illinoisguy said...

As the first comment of this blog post pointed out, Mitt's only problem with conservatives in these states are with lots of candidates. By the time you get to the one on one votes against Obama, Mitt is 2nd, only one percent behind Huckabee. As pointed out earlier, one on one against Obama, he beats Palin by 6.75%, so in terms of beating Obama, which is what actually counts, Palin is the one with the problem, or even worse, the country has Obama again for 4 more years. Now study this a little bit, and try to enhance your understanding"

Look at the favorables of the top tier amongst CONSERVATIVES. These are the averages of the 7 states, not counting Wisconsin, which hasn't had the second rendition of the statistics published yet:

When you subtract unfavorables from favorables you have:

Huckabee: 339/7 = +53 (really good)
Palin:----281/7 = +46 (good)
Gingrich--233/7 = +33.2 (not so good)
Romney----221/7 = +31.5 (even worse)

HOWEVER: Look what happens when you turn these in to differentials matched against Obama (none of these are anything to brag about):

Huckabee:---469/7 = 58.63
Romney:-----460/7 = 57.5
Gingrich:---431/7 = 53.88
Palin:------406/7 = 50.75 (pretty pathetic)

Now, I ask you, who has a problem with Conservatives in those 7 states? These are the same states your liberal friends at PPP have labeled that Mitt has a problem with. But, in reality, they would hope and pray Palin is our candidate.

Right Wingnut said...


Your saying that the same batch of conservatives that would choose Palin as the nominee would also vote against her in a match-up with Obama? Do you really believe that nonsense? Come on now...

illinoisguy said...

I'm saying that it is the exact same poll, so yes, it's the exact same conservatives. If you don't believe this, this YOU explain how it is not true? Do you think PPP is lying about that? Do you think they miscounted? What is your rationale?

Right Wingnut said...

Do you think PPP is lying about that? Do you think they miscounted? What is your rationale? - Iguy

That's what I'm saying. It makes no sense. If they would vote for Obama over her (fat chance), why would they choose her as the nominee?

illinoisguy said...

And it's not just one poll. This is conglomeration of 7 polls, each of which showed exactly the same phenomena. AND, so do many, many other polls show the exact same thing? Where have you been? Do you really not know that's what the other camps have been pointing out to you all this time. It's why people all over America have labeled her unelectable, because scores of polls show this over and over and over.

illinoisguy said...

RW, let me clarify something. It's the same set of conservatives being used in each of these polls, but it is probably not the same individuals voting for her in the primary, but against her in the general. It's like 20% want her, and a large number of the others say something like this, "Well, you may want her, but I sure as hell don't. She is terrible..she is an embarrassment, and as bad as I hate Obama, i would rather have her than this unprepared woman". I would not say that....I would definitely vote for her, BUT enough out of EACH of these sets of conservatives would do that very thing, or have some other similar line of thinking.

Right Wingnut said...

No, Iguy. Your missing my point. The conservative poll respondents are presented with a list of names- Mitt, Huck, Newt, Palin. They select Palin. Then turn around and choose Obama? BS. No, I do not trust the Daily Kos poster. Sorry. I'm not sure if you're paying attention, but they're on a mission to make Palin and Romney look bad, all in an effort to prop up Huckabee. They would like nothing more than the GOP to nominate a regional candidate like the Huckster. Keep your eye on the ball, Iguy.

Right Wingnut said...

Iguy, There's a higher number of undecideds among conservatives in PPP's Palin/Obama matchups. I'm to believe that a lot of them will ultimately vote for Obama? Nonsense.

Right Wingnut said...

Also, most of these pollsters are still using 2008 turnout models. Much has changed in two years...

Nobody can predict the outcome of an election two years out. If they could, Reagan would have quit when he was trailing Carter by 25 points with 8 months to go.

illinoisguy said...

RW, I'm trying to be nice here. Did you not read my comment of clarification? It's no different than many other match ups, only in the case of Palin, it's much more pronounced. There are a whole lot more of them either staying home, or voting for the opposite party when she is our nominee. You don't have to believe this; and I'll grant that things can change between now and then, but as of right now, it shows a very large number refusing to vote of our party nominee if she is that person.

Bill589 said...

As Doug said, Mitt is working under the radar. Sarah has been on point, leading the fight, and taking the bulk of the flak, ridicule, etc., and she’s still within MOE.

Do we want a president who plays it safe, or one who is a proven capable fighter who will not further compromise with socialism and further pervert the Constitution, but will restore it?

Mitt may be brilliant - he could be the smartest person on earth - but will he fight for our conservative principles? Will he ever say, “Politically, if I die, I die.” and then do what’s right regardless?

Maybe Mitt would, but we know Sarah would.

GetReal said...

I agree with the premise that Palin will have the hardest time in the general election, but I also think RW may be on to something...these PPP polls haven't passed the smell test for some time now. Do you recall one of the national ones they did with Huck leading, IG? That showed him with the highest favorables of any of the candidates in the NORTHEAST??

Besides, Huckabee has artificially high favorables with modersates/liberals because unlike Romney and Palin, a lot of his downsides are not out there. Like his past statement about shipping all AIDS patients off to some remote island.

Anonymous said...


Romney is within the MOE with conservatives.

Now, HOW is Palin doing with moderatea and independents? Is she within the MOE? I'll save you a google. NO!


Doug NYC GOP said...

Bill - I'd appreciate you not twisting my words to build up your Sarah argument. Palin is a fighter for sure --fighting to get her share of press each day.

As I said to you before, which either failed to see or chose to ignore, having an itchy Twitter finger is not leadership.

Staking out hard-right positions Palin knows her base will love and the hard Left will hate is risk free.

As far as taking hits, etc, Palin loves that attention, because it allows her to play the victem and keep guys like enthralled.

For all her "fighting for our values" storyline her fans like to push, she apparently is doing a lousy job winning people over. Go read Bos's new post on her Unfavorability.

Right Wingnut said...

Iguy, have you registered as "conservativeguy" at the new C4P site yet? Sign up and show Ian where he's wrong.

From C4P's Ian Lazaran:

The Daily Kos pollster conducted a poll of Virginia voters last month and found Barack Obama leading Governor Palin by a decent margin in a state that he won by around six points in 2008. What most people found questionable about the poll was the 50% approval rating that it showed for Obama in the state. Considering that Obama’s average national approval rating is nowhere near 50%, it’s extremely unlikely that his approval rating would be at 50% in Virginia as the state is not more liberal than the nation as a whole.

In any event, Roanoke College released a poll today that casts doubt on the Virginia poll that the Daily Kos pollster released last month. It found Obama’s approval rating in Virginia at 36% rather than the 50% approval that the Daily Kos pollster found.

What would account for such a huge disparity between pollsters? The two pollsters found two dramatically different ideological samples. The Daily Kos pollster used a sample comprised of 44% moderates and 37% conservatives. The Roanoke College poll used a sample comprised of 45% conservatives and 35% moderates. Keep in mind too that the Roanoke College poll was of Virginia residents, not registered or likely voters. A poll of residents, as opposed to actual registered or likely voters, typically will not produce a sample that is too favorable to the Republican.

If we plug in the numbers that Daily Kos pollster found in the Obama/Palin matchup among liberals/moderates/conservatives (84/13, 72/21, 10/78, respectively) but use the liberal/moderate/conservative ideological sample (17, 35, 45, respectively) found by Roanoke College, we effectively have a tie between the two. There’s reason to believe that the ideological composition that Roanoke College found for the Virginia electorate is correct considering the conservative shift we have seen in the electorate over the past two years.

hamaca said...

Front-runner status is over-rated.

Anonymous said...

"Iguy, There's a higher number of undecideds among conservatives in PPP's Palin/Obama matchups. I'm to believe that a lot of them will ultimately vote for Obama? Nonsense." Bingo, that is the whole point. Conservative voters may claim to be undecided now, but do we really think in the end they will vote for Mr. Obama?


Right Wingnut said...

OJ, But since PPP has a dog (Obama) in the hunt, it's all moot anyway.

Doug NYC GOP said...

OJ writes: "Iguy, There's a higher number of undecideds among conservatives in PPP's Palin/Obama matchups. I'm to believe that a lot of them will ultimately vote for Obama? Nonsense." Bingo, that is the whole point. Conservative voters may claim to be undecided now, but do we really think in the end they will vote for Mr. Obama?

The fact there ARE so many Undecided voters among conservatives, in a Palin(Conservative Idol) against Obama(Conservative Enemy) is the point. That means part of her base, along with everyone else, has doubts and concerns about her.

On another front, the Silly Putty logic that somehow Romney is in big trouble with Conservatives, yet Palin's problem with just about everybody BUT her base, is laughed off by her supporters, is laughable, indeed.

Anonymous said...

Once again, you miss the point of the poll Doug, Mrs. Palin can only go up with this group of voter who approve of her and Mr. Romney has reached his ceiling.

BTW "As I said to you before, which either failed to see or chose to ignore, having an itchy Twitter finger is not leadership." Huh???? Where did you buy you Christmas eggnog? Twitter and Facebook is now the cutting edge that radio and TV used to be whether we like it or not. What are you going to say next? FDR showed poor leadership by going on the radio and JFK showed poor leadership by going on TV. This Leadership card you play is getting too old.


Right Wingnut said...

Let me get this straight...

We're suppose to believe that although Palin's favorability rating among conservatives exceeds Romney's by at least 20 points, that Romney is the stronger general election candidate among conservatives.

In other words, conservatives love Palin and are split on Romney, yet they'd pull the lever for Romney against Obama, but not Palin--even though they prefer her over Romney by a considerable margin in the primary?

Please tell me you're not buying into that flawed logic.

illinoisguy said...

It's exactly what the data shows RW, and PPP is not unique here at all. Talk to PPP about it, not me.