Right Thinking From The Left Coast
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Why Polls Don’t Matter

The Left Wing is in a tizzy because Donald Trump—now a born-again culture conservative and purveyor of myths even the birthers won’t touch—is leading (PDF) the GOP presidential field.

Almost every month, the top four candidates have been in a statistical tie, with various candidates jockeying back and forth for slim leads.  But for the first time in three months, when Mike Huckabee had a ten-point lead over Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin, PPP has found a candidate who puts serious distance between himself and the rest of the field: Donald Trump.

Trump leads with 26% over Huckabee’s 17%, Romney’s 15%, Newt Gingrich’s 11%, Palin’s 8%, Ron Paul’s 5%, and Tim Pawlenty and Michele Bachmann’s 4%.

OMG!!  Trump is leading the GOP field.  It’s the end of the world.  The Republicans are all racist birthers!

Um, no.  The PPP polls is next to useless.  Concentrate on the important number up there: 26% The Donald does not even command a majority of GOP support.  He has an unconstrained plurality among eight different candidates.  Name recognition and the stimulation of birther enthusiasm can explain all of that.  If we get into the debates and it becomes clear that Trump doesn’t know fuck all, if we get to the point where his shady personal and financial history have come up, and he still leads the field (with something interesting like 40% against two other candidates), then we can panic.

Polls a year and a half before an election are stupid, anyway.  Four years ago, Hillary and Rudy Giuliani were guaranteed to face off in 2008.  Four years before that, Howard Dean was going to be the Democratic challenger.  Four years earlier, John McCain was going to be the next President.  By this point in 1991, no one had heard of Bill Clinton.  By this point in 1975, no one had heard of Jimmy Carter (and by this point in 1979, everyone wished they still hadn’t.)

Polls mean shit.  Early polls mean shit.  Unconstrained pluralities with eight names mean shit.  PPP is giving the Donald the only thing he really wants out of this election—attention.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 04/18/11 at 11:09 AM (Discuss this in the forums)

Comments


Posted by on 04/18/11 at 01:05 PM from United States

Polls mean shit.  Early polls mean shit.

What they are telling me is that the GOP can pretty much phone in the 2012 presidential race. The only guy in this group that has any chance at all is Romney and even he has so much baggage they call him Samsonite. All of the GOP’s shinning stars have already ruled out a 2012 run and I don’t see any mystery candidates waiting in the wings, anyone strong enough to pull in the independents. Even Obama had declared and had name recognition this time during the last election.

As long as the GOP does well in the congressional races, a majority in the House and Senate will pretty much neuter Obama and mitigate any further damage. Of course the debt will be even higher, but we are screwed anyway, might as well move to Canada.

Posted by on 04/18/11 at 01:26 PM from United States

Trump is going to run just until he has to provide financial disclosures of his personal finances.  Then he will withdraw!

Posted by on 04/18/11 at 01:43 PM from United States

Hopefully, somebody acceptable will show up to run.  So far it’s a bunch of “no fucking way” candidates…

Posted by AlexinCT on 04/18/11 at 02:12 PM from United States

OMG!!  Trump is leading the GOP field.  It’s the end of the world.  The Republicans are all racist birthers!

I got called for one of these polls and I picked Donald Trump for the pure fact that I figured that it would be funny, not to mention quite meaningless this early in the process, to pick someone that is a nutjob.

Trump is basically getting his 15 minutes of famr eight now. As Steve pointed out, once he has to disclose his finances he is going to call it quits. In the mean time the attention whore is living high on the hog.

Posted by on 04/18/11 at 02:54 PM from United States

Trump does serve one useful purpose in the whole “birther” issue - you can’t just slam him for being a conspiracy nut and shut him up.  What dirt there is to find he will find - he has all the money he needs to hire private investigators, and he truly doesn’t give a crap if you paint him as a fringe lunatic.

Posted by JimK on 04/18/11 at 05:45 PM from United States

Polls mean shit.  Early polls mean shit.  Unconstrained pluralities with eight names mean shit.

THIS, THIS, A THOUSAND TIMES THIS.

Posted by on 04/18/11 at 07:41 PM from United States

Hopefully, somebody acceptable will show up to run.  So far it’s a bunch of “no fucking way” candidates…

Yeah, I think “other” would blow this bunch away in the polls.

The Left Wing is in a tizzy because Donald Trump—now a born-again culture conservative

Trump is a Micheal Bloomberg, he’ll jump from party to party for the moment, and then when he’s in he’ll join the screw the people party, because it’s really all about him. I watched his interview on CNN, he was basically saying he wish he didn’t have to run, but would do it to save the country. Please, he should put the cape away and just stick to his NBC show.

Posted by on 04/18/11 at 08:11 PM from United States

Donald Trump is doing exactly what is needed right now, denying the left a clear target to Palinize.
Even the MSM know he’s nothing but a ‘head fake’.

And to all of the people that are screaming for a republican front runner I ask: since when does the opposition put up a target this early in any election? Who was the front runner in April of 2007? It damn sure wasn’t McCain.

Posted by on 04/18/11 at 08:16 PM from United States

And to all of the people that are screaming for a republican front runner I ask: since when does the opposition put up a target this early in any election?

True, it would not be a good idea to put a top candidate out there right now. Personally, I could go with Ron Paul even though I don’t agree with everything he stands for, but I don’t think he has a shot in hell. I just hope we don’t end up with another family values campaign. It’s the debt and economy and nothing but the debt and the economy right now.

Posted by on 04/18/11 at 11:30 PM from United States

Personally, I don’t see why everybody who wonders whether the Obamassiah is legally a citizen is necessarily racist or crazy.

Posted by on 04/18/11 at 11:41 PM from United States

Because they don’t want you questioning the official story.  That there is zero substantiating evidence to back it up can be a real problem when people actually start to realize the emperor has no clothes…

Posted by on 04/19/11 at 01:38 AM from United States

The left is not in a tizzy over Donald Trump. We are actually ecstatic to see that he leads the full list of crazies who are the field of potential republican nominees. Gingrich??? Bachmann Plain??? Really… the only one with the some credibility is Ron Paul… he will at least lay the cards on the table and in an honest enough fashion to make people realize exactly what his presidency would mean.. so he is of little threat. The rest of the field we are just excited to see because they are bat shit crazy and will only underscore the bankruptcy of ideas that is the republican party and also show just how captured and owned by corporate interest it is.

In fact the corporate interest thing is EXACTLY why Paul will never get the nomination.

Posted by on 04/19/11 at 01:57 PM from United States

The left is not in a tizzy over Donald Trump.

You lie poorly…

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