Swing State Pres

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The Polls Are In: Here are the Real Debate Winners and Losers

Here is a summary of the pre/post debate polls.  The chart below compares national and Iowa polls before the debate on August 6 with those conducted after the debate.  (There were 13 national polls in the week before the debate and three after;  in Iowa we compare two polls in July with two conducted after the debate).  In a nutshell:

·         The two indisputable winners in both the national and Iowa polls are Carly Fiorina, who rose 4-5 points in each and jumped considerably in the rankings, and Donald Trump, who remains ahead nationally and jumped into first in Iowa.

o    Carly Fiorina who was not even on the “big stage,” but by all accounts she won the “kiddie table” debate and the noise from that was clearly louder than expected

o    With respect to Trump, while the polls were conducted after the debate, it is not clear whether they captured the impact of the Megyn Kelly statements (the implication by Trump that she was hormonal in asking tough questions of him at the debate) that has ruled the media in the immediate aftermath.
 
·         The biggest losers appear to have been the two non-Trump frontrunners, Jeb Bush and Scott Walker, who both played it safe and paid the price.  Bush lost ground nationally (though held it in Iowa) while Walker lost major points in each.  Walker had been in first in Iowa in every poll since May, but dropped sharply and is now in second.

·         The media spin focused a great deal on John Kasich (a “winner”) and Rand Paul (“a loser”); these opinions have been borne out modestly by the polls in Iowa, but not at all nationally.

·         Ben Carson also picked up ground nationally, presumably on the strength of his closing statement, which was more hilarious than any other desired attribute (e.g., “statesmanlike”).  Marco Rubio gained some minor ground nationally, but not in Iowa.  Ted Cruz and Bobby Jindal seem to have moved up a bit in Iowa.

NATIONAL
Pre-Aug 6
Post-Aug 6
Change
IOWA
Pre-Aug 6
Post-Aug 6
Change
Trump
25
26
2
Trump
15
25
10
Bush
13
10
-3
Walker
21
14
-7
Carson
6
9
3
Bush
10
11
1
Rubio
5
7
2
Carson
8
9
1
Cruz
6
7
1
Cruz
6
8
2
Walker
11
7
-4
Fiorina
2
7
5
Fiorina
1
6
4
Huckabee
7
6
-1
Huckabee
6
5
0
Rubio
5
5
0
Paul
5
4
-1
Jindal
3
5
2
Kasich
3
3
0
Kasich
2
4
2
Christie
3
2
-1
Santorum
2
3
1
Graham
1
2
1
Paul
5
2
-3
Perry
2
1
-1
Perry
3
2
-1
Jindal
2
1
-1
Christie
2
1
-1
Santorum
1
1
-1
Graham
1
1
0
Pataki
1
0
-1
Pataki
0
0
0
Gilmore
0
0
0
Gilmore
0
0
0
Other/NA
10
8
-2
Other/NA
12
1
-11


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