GOP Bloggers 2008 Poll Analysis For January

Over 12,000 people from all around the right side of the blogosphere have voted in the GOP Bloggers 2008 straw poll. Here’s a little analysis of how things broke down on the candidate acceptability scale (the higher the score, the better). First off, there are:

The Front Runners

Mitt Romney: +46.6%
Newt Gingrich: +45.8%
Rudy Giuliani: + 33.9%

Analysis: Mitt Romney has really rocketed up the charts in the last few months. For example, if you look back to July of last year, he was sitting at only 17.9%. Back then, the number one candidate was George Allen at 48.9%. After Allen went down in flames, it looks as if most of his support went to Romney with a little spillover going to Gingrich while Rudy has stayed in about the same spot (he was +30.6% back then).

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On the other hand, Gingrich is not only just a hair behind Romney’s poll, he’s beating the pants off him in state by state polling. This suggests that Newt has the support not just of the average Republicans, but of the online activists, which means he has a real shot to win this thing if he wants to try to grab the brass ring.

The 2nd Tier

Mike Huckabee: -3.9%
Tom Tancredo: -4.9%
Duncan Hunter: -6.2%
Tommy Thompson: -9.6%

Analysis: Huckabee, Hunter, and Thompson are sitting in this position because they don’t have enough name recognition to go much higher or lower on the scale. However, given that Tancredo is much more of a known quantity than the other 3, being in this slot isn’t particularly good news for him because it means that people know him, and yet he’s still not getting a lot of traction.

The Bottom Of The Barrel:

Sam Brownback: -15.8%
Jim Gilmore: -20.3%
John McCain: -28.4%
George Pataki: -53.4%
Chuck Hagel: -58.2%

Analysis: Brownback should probably be the guy most dispirited by this performance because he is being touted as a possible contender despite his low name recognition and yet, his rating suggests that he’s turning off people who do find out more about him. I guess that’s what happens when you make amnesty and surrendering in Iraq your first two signature issues.

McCain is the other interesting candidate because when he gets out of the blogosphere and into the actual polls of people in key states, he’s one of the front runners. The difference, in my opinion, comes from people who are regularly exposed to the new media vs. the general public. The sort of wonks who read blogs, listen to talk radio, and read Human Events, despise the guy, while the general public, which gets their news from the MSM, isn’t as negatively disposed towards him. Unfortunately for McCain, as the primaries get closer, the impact of alternative media will skyrocket and it will sink his campaign.

Could Johnny Mac turn things around? Not likely. Back in July, McCain was at -39.8%. So, if he continues on that same pace, he should get back to even-steven in the polls some time around mid-2008, long after the nominee is decided.

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