This Week in GOP Polls – 12/7/15

We’re eight days away from the next Republican debate, and so much has happened in the news since then. The self-radicalized terrorist attack in San Bernardino, the climate change meeting in Paris after its own terrorist attack, and the Senate vote to defund ObamaCare will give the candidates a lot to talk about. There will again be an afternoon and a primetime debate. To make the afternoon one, the candidate needs to 1% in four separate national, Iowa, or New Hampshire polls. To make to primetime, the candidate must average 3.5% nationally, or 4% in Iowa or New Hampshire in the few weeks of polls.

by John English
by John English

1. Donald Trump – 27%
2. Ben Carson – 20.5%
3. Marco Rubio – 12.7%
4. Ted Cruz – 11.5%
5. Jeb Bush – 5.3%

1. Donald Trump – 25.3%
2. Ben Carson – 20%
3. Ted Cruz – 17.1%
4. Marco Rubio – 12.9%
5. Jeb Bush – 5.5%

1. Donald Trump – 25.5%
2. Marco Rubio – 11.9%
3. Ben Carson – 11.3%
4. Ted Cruz – 9.8%
5. John Kasich – 8.1%
6. Jeb Bush – 7.1%
7. Chris Christie – 6.5%
8. Carly Fiorina – 4.8%
9. Rand Paul – 4%

That would be nine candidates in the primetime debate. There were eight in the previous debate, but now Chris Christie has earned his way back to the stage. No idea yet how they’ll determine podium position, but Donald Trump will be dead center. The afternoon debate will feature Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum and Lindsey Graham. Graham missed the last afternoon debate, and Bobby Jindal has since dropped out. I could see CNN letting George Pataki back in the afternoon, depending on how wide a net they cast in what polls they’ll consider. Personally I hope they leave him off, and that he and Gilmore officially drop out. And Graham, and Santorum, and Huckabee.

Now some of the polling has just been strange, a self-fulfilling prophecy how it’s okay to not read much into these this early. For example, the CNN poll that gave Trump a 36% total asks five questions about illegal immigration right before it asks about the candidates. Illegal immigration is arguably Trump’s #1 issue, and last month when CNN polled, it did not ask these five questions, let alone ask it before the respondent would pick a candidate. Trump won that one, but at only 27%.

Also odd was the Quinnipiac poll when compared to its previous polls. It gave head-to-heads that showed Hillary would be all of the top four Republicans head-to-head, but just two weeks previous, its poll showed she was losing the head-to-head in states like Colorado and Virginia. That type of swing just doesn’t happen in a two-week span.

Now at the same time, you could look at the trends of other questions and see that Republicans still have an advantage in voter enthusiasm.

Extremely or Very enthusiastic
Republicans – 50%
Democrats – 46%

Carson briefly flirting with first place in Iowa before Trump took it back, but now Cruz is in first in the latest Monmouth poll, and compared to previous Monmouth polls, it looks like Cruz has siphoned a lot of support away from Carson.

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