Archive for the 'WHITE HOUSE RACE' Category


On the eve of New Hampshire the Hillary campaign takes its biggest gamble: bringing in Bill to attack Bernie

Monday, February 8th, 2016

Does the former President still hold much sway?

So we are almost there in what has in past White House races been the contest that has proved to be the most crucial – the first full primary in the New England State of New Hampshire.

While much of the attention has been on the Republicans there’s a battle royal going on in the Democratic primary where the 74 year old socialist Bernie Sanders has been enjoying double digit leads over Hillary Clinton.

On paper he looks a certainty but the Hillary campaign will remember 2008 when the final polls on the state had Obama up to 13.5% up but she won.

A big factor that makes it very challenging for the pollsters is that voters, including a huge block of independents, can choose whether to caste their votes in with the Democratic election or the Republican one.

There’s a long history of primary voters there making their minds up at the last minute.

Into this potentially explosive mix the Hillary campaign has deployed its final card which could backfire – her husband the former President. His speech attacked in part the sexist and misogynist nature of the Tweets from Sanders supporters – a move designed to boost to boost turnout amongst women.

The Twitter misogyny from some Sanders backers looks very similar to that which we saw from Corbyn supporters in the Labour leadership contest.

Whatever the Sanders polling numbers are strong and it is hard to see him not doing it. The big question will be the size of his winning margin.

Mike Smithson


Rubio slips back on Betfair following what’s described as “robotic” NH debate performance

Sunday, February 7th, 2016


The Twitter verdicts of leading pundits

After his surprisingly close 3rd place in Iowa all the narrative in the GOP Race has been about the young Florida Senator Marco Rubio.

The polls since have been have been good and he was widely being tipped as the one who could stop Trump. That was before the final TV debate that ended a few hours ago in New Hampshire.

The Tweets above from leading commentators speak for themselves. It was alaways likely that Rubio would be the one who’d take the most flack and he flunked it.

So who will benefit? In New Hampshire that looks like be Trump and possibly Kasich who has been polling reasonably well in the state.

This ain’t over till it’s over.

Mike Smithson


Assessing Marco Rubio: A surge or just a bubble

Saturday, February 6th, 2016


David Herdson on why he’s yet to be convinced

Ted Cruz can feel a little hard done by. It was he, after all, who won the Iowa caucus, beating Donald Trump, the reports of the pollsters, and indeed everyone else. Normally, that would be enough to fire him into the media spotlight as the man with the momentum. Not this time. The ‘momentum’ badge has instead been awarded to Florida senator, Marco Rubio.

Although he finished only third in Iowa, he’s made good headway in the polls since the caucus result, leading Cruz for second place in the five New Hampshire surveys conducted at least in part since Tuesday, as well breaking back into the twenties in one national poll for the first time since November. The question is whether that’s a ‘push’ reaction away from two not very appealing leading candidates with voters alighting on Rubio as the nearest convenient alternative, or a ‘pull’ effect where voters are genuinely attracted to what he stands for.

My instinct is that it’s the former. If voters were keen on him for his own merits then he would have been polling much more strongly before now. In a sense, he got lucky by being in the right place at the right time: he was the leading alternative conservative candidate to Cruz when Trump went negative to good effect against the Texan. In another, simply being in that right place takes skill: a lot of other candidates spent a lot of money to far less effect.

That matters but it’s not decisive. What is clear is that the public are willing now to give him a hearing. Even if he did back into the spotlight, he now has the chance to make the most of it. By the same token, he will now likely be the focus of relentless attacks from his fellow candidates well beyond what he’s experienced so far.

Indeed, that’s already happening. Bush, Kasich and Christie, all of whom need good results in the granite state to kick-start their campaigns, are all competing with him (as well as each other) for the mainstream vote – not that Rubio is particularly mainstream but he’s more so than Cruz or Trump are and if the establishment candidates can’t find traction their support has to go somewhere. Likewise, Cruz is competing with him for the conservative vote and providing he can avoid getting too drawn into a row with Carson over his campaign’s Iowa tactics, should also be gunning for Rubio, probably over immigration. They have their best opportunity tonight, in the last debate before the primary.

How well will he stand up? Former candidate, now Rubio-backer and Senate colleague Rick Santorum didn’t exactly help when asked to state Rubio’s top Senate accomplishments couldn’t name any.

    This is an extremely difficult race to call. Rubio has undoubtedly moved forward since Monday but is that poll rise a still-ongoing trend, a one-off step change or a bubble ready to burst?

He still trails Trump in the NH polls and if the Donald does win on Tuesday then Rubio’s record of a third and a second won’t look too hot against Cruz and Trump with a state a piece, another likely Trump win (in that scenario) in South Carolina and a Cruz-friendly Super Tuesday; Nevada would then be Rubio’s last best hope. On the other hand, if he wins in New Hampshire then he really does take the momentum with him, probably all the way to the White House. What’s clear about 2016 is that no potential president has broad popular appeal; the least worst will win. Rubio has the potential to be everyone’s second favourite, picking up transfers as Christie, Kasich, Bush, Fiorina and Carson drop out. He also has the potential to be everyone’s second favourite and so miss out in New Hampshire as people vote for their first preference.

All of which is to say that whoever takes New Hampshire for the GOP is strongly odds-on to take the nomination with it. I just wish I could see who is going to take New Hampshire.

David Herdson


You’ve read the blogs, listened to the podcasts – now watch the PB/Polling Matters TV Show

Thursday, February 4th, 2016

The PB/Polling Matters Podcast continues. The TV show is available as audio download


We can’t assume that the Donald is out of it yet

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016

The US pollster Public Policy Polling has a welcome practice of sending out Tweets like the one above to indicate significant trends in surveys some time before the poll is actually published.

The latest does indicate that the huge momentum that Donald Trump had built up ahead of Iowa has been impeded by the outcome in the first state to decide. That refers to a national survey not a state poll and in the five month process to select a nominee it is the latter that matter most.

We do know that Trump had built up overwhelming leads in New Hampshire which, of course, votes next Tuesday. What we need to see are some post-Iowa New Hampshire surveys before we can start to draw conclusions.

There’s a lot of experience from previous White House races that what happens in Iowa can have very little impact on New Hampshire. Remember Hillary Clinton’s comeback in NH in 2008 after Obama’s Iowa caucus victory. He looked as though he was sweeping all before him and then Hillary defied all the polls and took New Hampshire.

If Trump has a good New Hampshire primary then it’s game on again for the property billionaire turned TV star.

Mike Smithson


If Trump does win tonight in Iowa he’ll go into New Hampshire next week in an overwhelming position

Monday, February 1st, 2016


Real Clear Politics New Hampshire polling average

Tonight the first real votes will be cast in WH2016

Well we’ve got there at last. After months of speculation, polling and debates, the first state to decide in the long-drawn out nomination process, Iowa, will do so tonight. My guess is that we should be getting the first results in both GOP Democrat races after 2am tomorrow morning.

The final polling points to Trump taking the Republican prize and Hillary just pipping Sanders in the Democratic race and these two remain the strong overall betting favourites to win their party nominations.

But a huge amount can happen over the next six months. What looks certain after Iowa isn’t always a good pointer to which two will be fighting it out in the election proper on the first Tuesday in November.

What makes Trump’s position look so strong is how he’s doing in New Hampshire which votes in the first full primary a week tomorrow. The RCP polling average chart above shows how he has so dominated that race. There simply is no clear alternative amongst a huge raft of contenders to The Donald.

One thing to look out for tonight is how, comparatively, Rubio does in the Iowa caucuses. He has been moving up in the polls and could establish himself as the main opposition to Trump with a good vote tonight.

I’ve got positive betting positions on Trump, Rubio, and Cruz and I’ve made no changes since the DMR poll came out.

Mike Smithson


Final Des Moines Register poll has Trump as the hair apparent in the Iowa caucus

Saturday, January 30th, 2016

From the historically most accurate pollster in this race

It looks like the attacks on Ted Cruz and the doubts about his eligibilty have had an impact on the Senator from Texas.

Whilst the Democratic race is

But winning the GOP nomination is one thing, winning the White House is another



This week’s PB/Polling Matters Podcast looks ahead to Iowa and the importance of turnout

Thursday, January 28th, 2016


Just 3 days to go before voting starts

On this week’s PB/Polling Matters podcast Keiran speaks to Will Jordan from YouGov in the U.S. They discuss the state of the 2016 race as it stands, the importance of turnout at next week’s Iowa caucuses (and what that might mean for Trump and Sanders) plus how important Iowa will be for the wider race in such an apparently unconventional election cycle.

You can follow Keiran at@keiranpedley and Will at @williamjordann