Saturday, January 9, 2016

Leading Republican Candidates Gain Ground and Now Lead Hillary Clinton in Head-to-Head Polling

While the first nationwide poll in two weeks show little change in the Republican field, it does show the leading GOP candidates dramatically improving their position with respect to the likely Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton

The Fox News poll (conducted jointly by Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R)) released yesterday has Donald Trump with 35% leading second place candidate Texas
Hillary Clinton
Senator Ted Cruz who checks in with 20%.  Florida Senator Marco Rubio (13%) and Ben Carson (10%) are the only other candidates in double figures. 

The anti-establishment candidates (Trump, Cruz, Carson, Carly Fiorina and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul) total 70%.  This is the level the anti-establishment candidates have polled at for several months, with the only change being supporters shuffling among the anti-Establishment candidates.  It is difficult to see a scenario in which an Establishment candidate like Rubio or New Jersey Governor Chris Christie can win in this environment.

The previous Fox News poll in mid-December had Trump at 39% and Cruz second at 18%.  No news there.  The changes are well within the margin of error.

The major change in the Fox Poll is the general election head-to-head matchups.  In the mid-December Fox poll, Trump trailed Clinton by 11%.  The new poll has him leading her by 3%.  That is a gain of 14% in less than a month.

Trump is not the only Republican whose fortunes against the likely Democratic nominee have greatly improved.  In the earlier Fox poll, Cruz polled even with Hillary Clinton.  In the most recent one he leads by 7%.  Rubio went from a 2% lead in the mid-December Fox poll to 9% in the most recent one.

To summarize, in about three weeks, Trump gained 14% in head-to-head polling with Hillary Clinton, while Cruz and Rubio each gained 7% during that time. 

It should be noted that a Fox poll in mid-November showed Republicans doing much better in head-to-head matchups than mid-December Fox poll.  But that was also during a time Hillary Clinton was experiencing substantial set-backs during her campaign.  She's widely considered to have corrected those problems although Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders continues to garner substantial Democratic support in the polls.  In fact, the Fox poll shows Sanders with 39% support, the highest he's ever polled nationally.


Anonymous said...

Didn't Faux News have Mitt Romney winning in a landslide?

Paul K. Ogden said...

Anon 7:26,

No, all the major final polls in 2012 had Obama leading nationally and in the key states that would give him an electoral college victory.

You might be thinking of Fox News analyst Karl Rove who predicted a Romney victory (though I don't think by a "landslide") and was roundly ridiculed for doing so. Nonetheless, from a historical standpoint the 2012 election ranks as being close both in the popular vote and electoral college. As I recall from looking at the numbers it was in the top 20% of elections.

By the way, Fox News doesn't do the poll themselves. Fox News commissions a very reputable Democrat and a Republican polling firm to jointly conduct their polls. The Fox News polls are generally consistent with the other polling out there.