Down Huckabee, Race for GOP Presidential Nomination Without a Clear Leader

According to Gallup, following Mike Huckabee's decision to withdraw his name from consideration, the race for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination lacks a clear leader. A March-April 2011 trial heat ballot among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, adjusting for the withdrawals of Huckabee and Donald Trump, suggests the lead is shared by three politicians: Mitt Romney (20%), Sarah Palin (18%), and Newt Gingrich (11%).
But current voter preferences are based more in recognition than anything else. Those three politicians also lead potential GOP candidates in name recognition among the polled population, with 96% recognizing Palin; 84% Gingrich; and 83% of those polled recognizing Romney. Writes Gallup: "The most well-known candidates lead in nomination support at this point, while those who are not as well-known lag behind."

Evidence for this view--that recent, post-Huckabee trial ballot results can be attributed primarily to candidate recognition and not real, strongly rooted voter preference--was found not only in the three most well-known candidates leading the results, but also from the relatively low level of excitement voters expressed for those three candidates. Positive Intensity scores, meant to measure the intensity of a voter's support for his/her candidate, showed that voters are less excited about these three potential candidates than they had been about Huckabee. While Palin scored only 16, Romney 14, and Gingrich 13, Huckabee's final Positive Intensity score for May 2-15 polling reached 25. The Positive Intensity score is calculated by taking the percentage of voters who recognize and have a strongly favorable opinion of a candidate and subtracting from that the percentage of voters who recognize and have a strongly unfavorable opinion of the candidate.Among those candidates who registered lower name recognition, Herman Cain (29% recognition) and Michele Bachmann (21%) received the highest Positive Intensity scores with 24 and 21, respectively. For those two and others "in the Republican field beyond Palin, Gingrich, and Romney," the greatest challenge "right now is increasing their name recognition." For Palin, Gingrich and Romney, the goal must be to increase their Positive Intensity scores among voters, assuming all three participate--or remain--in the race.According to Gallup, only one thing is clear following Huckabee's departure: "There is no clear front-runner in the race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination."

NH cf
SSDAN Office

No comments :

Post a Comment