The Joy of Tracking Polls 7

On December 4, 2007, in General, by Neil Stevens

I’d basically stopped doing my weekly view of the Rasmussen tracking poll both because my health has been spotty lately, and because the poll had just gotten boring. After all, during the Thanksgiving break in the poll, we had a three way tie for second, Giuliani sitting on his average, and McCain slightly behind the other three.

Today though, I am compelled to post. Anyone would be. Look at this:

Rasmussen Tracking

Huckabee surges while Giuliani collapses. For the first time during this race, no Republican is above 20% in this poll. Giuliani and Hucakbee tie at 18%, McCain follows at 14%, Thompson checks in at 13%, and Romney is in fifth at 12%. Of course, the exact ordering, and the tie(!) are of more psychological than actual importance, given how close these candidates are and the nature of statistical polling, but no matter what this is the biggest shakeup in the poll since Fred Thompson formally entered the race.

Time will tell if this is temporary, caused by a bad sample one day (as this poll is a moving average of daily measurements), but that’s some large movement for an outlier, so I doubt that can entirely explain this change.

Update: let me elaborate on just how critical this is that everyone is in this little range. For first to fifth as a ranking to mean anything, that is, for us to know that Giuliani and Huckabee are actually above Romney, the margin of error would have to be under three percent. National polls never have a margin of error that low. So essentially this poll is now a five way tie. That is just shocking to me.

Update 2: At Red State Adam C points out that the MoE is actually 4%. So there we have it. We’re all tied with about a month to go before the first delegates are allocated.


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