Blogosphere Straw Poll Analysis

A couple of days ago, I put up a 2008 straw poll, which was sponsored by GOP Bloggers. You can see the overall results here.

First of all, here’s some of the raw data for all the participants:

The Top 4 Most Acceptable Candidates

Newt Gingrich: +43.9%
Mitt Romney: +40.9%
Rudy Giuliani: +35.4%
George Allen: +32.4%

The Top 4 Most Unacceptable Candidates

Chuck Hagel: -55%
George Pataki: -49.2%
John McCain: -42.1%
Bill Frist: -28.2%

The Left-Overs

Sam Brownback: -2%
Mike Huckabee: -0.8%
Tom Tancredo: +6.5%

Here are a few thoughts about the results:

— After putting out the The Conservative Case Against Rudy Giuliani In 2008, I was interested in seeing how it would affect his numbers. That’s because my theory is that once conservatives know what Rudy’s background is, they’re not going to want him as a nominee. So, since presumably, most of the people voting at RWN would have read the article, it would provide an opportunity to see how getting his record out there would affect voters — and it had a big impact at the beginning.

For the first few hundred votes, Rudy was running roughly between -3% and +3%. Then, surprisingly, his numbers started exploding upwards. He finished at +23.3% at RWN. I was scratching my head about that — but, then I realized what happened. Several blogs linked directly to the poll on Right Wing News instead of putting up their own polls. That’s what caused Rudy’s numbers to balloon and pulled him out of the “Left-Overs” category on the RWN poll.

Those early numbers just confirm to me that in 2008, Rudy will be toast once the sort of things I had in the The Conservative Case Against Rudy Giuliani In 2008 become common knowledge.

— The conventional wisdom early on was that Newt could not be competitive because of his troubled personal life. However, McCain and Rudy have helped change the CW. After all, John McCain is an adulterer and Rudy has a personal life that’s every bit as messy as Newt’s was. Although it would unquestionably be better to nominate a candidate who hasn’t been divorced, if you are going to nominate someone with a messy personal life, a hero of conservatism like Newt would certainly be a better option than McCain or Giuliani.

— It’s fascinating to look at the numbers for the Chuck Hagel supporters and to a lesser extent, John McCain supporters. It’s like they’re the candidates for Republicans who don’t like other Republicans. Amongst the Hagel supporters, the only other candidate who has a positive acceptability ratio is McCain and other popular candidates, like Newt (-38.9%) and Allen (-78.9%), are widely disliked by Hagel supporters. With the McCain supporters, Newt has a low positive rating (+12.2%) and the other 2 candidates with positive numbers are both RINOS: Rudy & Mitt.

— Mitt Romney is really benefitting from the fact that he’s not in DC & people don’t know much about him. They see the guy lurching to the right and just assume he’s a conservative. Unfortunately, the reality is far different. Since he’s in 2nd place, do you think it’s time for the Conservative Case Against Mitt Romney?

— At the moment, I get the impression that most people are not happy with the field and are looking for alternatives. That means there’s still a real opportunity out there for a “conservative Howard Dean” to enter the field and blow past the bigger names. In the end, Dean’s campaign collapsed because he kept putting his foot in his mouth over and over. But, had he been a smarter politician, he could have been the Dem’s nominee in 2004.

That same opportunity is there this time around on the Republican side. A Mark Sanford, Tim Pawlenty, or Haley Barbour could have the opportunity to enter the race as a conservative standard bearer, build up name recognition, and rocket past some of the other bigger name candidates.

Also see,

Machiavel’s analysis of the poll at Redstate.

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