Lion of the Blogosphere

New South Carolina Republican Poll!

Link here.

Note that this was an IVR poll, and Trump does better on these types of polls as compared to live-interviewer polls.

This poll has a very strict definition of a likely primary voter, which has tended to cause Trump to have lower poll numbers. So this poll may underestimate Trump’s polling strength if he attracts a lot of supporters to the polls who have not previously voted in a Republican primary.

The results are:

Trump 36.3
Cruz 19.6
Rubio 14.6
Bush 10.9
Kasich 8.7
Carson 4.7

I think there are some significant takeaways here.

The most obvious is that Trump is at 36.3%, which is consistent with SC polls taken in January. Cruz at 19.6% is also consistent with polls taken in January. SC is a state that’s friendly to a committed anti-abortion hardcore-conservative type of candidate like Cruz. Remember that Newt won this state in 2012 and that Huckabee came in a very close second 2008, so this means that Trump, the frontrunner and New Hampshire winner is outperforming both McCain in 2008 and Romney in 2012. If this is how the numbers break after actual voting, it’s hard to see how Trump can lose the nomination.

The battle for third place is interesting. It looks like Rubio was not hurt that much by his robotic debate glitch and his poor performance in New Hampshire.

Kasich has moved up substantially here since the January polls, but not enough to break out of fifth place.

Carson has sunk. He is now seen as a loser and his supporters are moving on to other candidates. Very few people want to vote for a loser.

It’s also important to note that 15.7% said they would vote for Trump as their second-choice candidate. Only Cruz (at 17.0%) and Rubio (at 18.5%) scored higher here and only by a small amount, so this demonstrates that Trump’s future support is NOT limited to just the people who are already voting for him as their first choice. As other candidates drop out of the race, Trump will pick up an even share of the leftover votes. Also, as normally happens after initial victories, social proof causes the front-runner’s support to increase, and no one has presented me with a believable explanation for why this won’t benefit Trump just as it has benefited every other candidate who has done well in early primaries.

Unless something really significant happens during the debate on Saturday or next week, I don’t see how Trump comes out as anything but a big winner in South Carolina. And by a winner, I mean not just having the highest vote total, but beating the second-place candidate by a large margin and bringing a lot of momentum and social proof to Super Tuesday.

* * *

Another interesting question. Assuming the real votes turn out like this (which is likely), will anyone drop out? Cruz certainly won’t drop out, and Rubio won’t because he can say that he’s the only candidate besides Trump and Cruz who came in third place in two states.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

February 12, 2016 at 1:52 pm

Posted in Politics

18 Responses

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  1. I think we really need to change the electoral system we use in primaries. Putting aside the candidates themselves, it’s absurd that someone who the majority of voters vote AGAINST somehow “wins.” I’d like to see a ranked-ballot system that lets you put candidates in the order of first, second, third preference etc. then transfers votes through elimination to create a majority winner.


    February 12, 2016 at 2:02 pm

    • Voters aren’t voting AGAINST anyone, they are voting FOR their candidate. You have been letting your brain be warped by the liberal MSM spin on the fact that Trump only has between 30 and 40% of the vote at this stage, which was also true for McCain in 2008 and Romney in 2012.

      I predict that, before the primary season is over, we will see Trump winning states with more than 50% of the vote.

      That said, I approve of second-choice voting.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      February 12, 2016 at 2:06 pm

      • I think one can very easily make the case that Romney and McCain shouldn’t have been the nominees, either.

        What happens in our system is that primary candidates who get 30%+ of the vote in a couple small states in a crowded field of candidates are told by the media that they are winning decisively. This narrative then intimidates lesser candidates out of the race. Eventually, the crowd does thin enough for candidates to win later primaries with 50%+ of the vote, and I am sure Trump will eventually win many states with 50%+ of the vote once the race winnows to two or three candidates, just as McCain and Romney won 50%+ of the vote in states after the majority of their rivals dropped out.

        The problem is that the mathematical logic of this system doesn’t really make sense. If no Republican at this point can command the support of a majority of voters then we should use ranked balloting to gradually figure out which candidate is agreeable to the majority. Or maybe use a hard elimination system, in which any candidates who get less than 5% of the vote are automatically barred from the next contest.

        I have no clue who the consensus candidate would be if we used a system like this, but I think it would be a better system than the one we use now.


        February 12, 2016 at 3:51 pm

      • Shep: No they shouldn’t. That’s stupid. Stop with the cuck bullshit.

        People vote for their first choice. The first few states sort out the most popular first choices. After that people get to vote for who they like best of the remaining candidates. If there is one guy with a committed group of fanatical followers but no broad appeal, ala Ron Paul, he will be crushed once the field pairs down.

        I would also like to point out that guys like Ron Paul, who had passionate supporters but was hated by the rest of the party, were never able to win any primaries even in a crowded field. Trump should have won IA, blew out the doors in NH and will crush again in SC.

        The system works and the only reason people are complaining about it is because Trump is pwning the competition.

        Otis the Sweaty

        February 13, 2016 at 1:44 pm

    • Virtually all voters are too dull and uninformed to make a rational first choice. And you want to give them more votes essentially? We don’t need more votes, what we need is fewer voters.

      Andrew E.

      February 12, 2016 at 2:12 pm

      • we basically have that system in australia. it works fine.

        james n.s.w

        February 13, 2016 at 2:26 am

  2. Trump doesn’t need loud, McCain-like foreign policy bluster to attract evangelicals in the South. He will get bigtime mileage with them with his “make America great again” slogans and with his very vocal support for men in uniform.


    February 12, 2016 at 2:28 pm

  3. Kasich and Bush will fade over the next week, with most of their support going to Rubio or Cruz.
    (Remember, Cruz’s Texas politics roots make him a quasi-Bush.)


    February 12, 2016 at 2:35 pm

  4. Rubio was building momentum just before and after Iowa. The fact that he is still stuck around 15% shows that his debate performance hurt him by killing his momentum. Otherwise he would be 20-25%.

    I don’t think that anyone will drop out after South Carolina. Carson might, but since super Tuesday is just a few days later he might as well stick it out. I think that Carson will go after super Tuesday. There is a good chance that Bush or Kasich drop out then too. By the time the establishment consolidates it will be too late to stop Trump.


    February 12, 2016 at 2:41 pm

  5. A national poll from today:

    “Trump earns 44 percent support from registered Republican and Republican-leaning independent voters. Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas) comes in a distant second, with 17 percent.”

    @Shep, that 44 is getting closer to a majority…


    February 12, 2016 at 2:46 pm

    • Trump probably does worse in SC than the country as a whole because SC tends to support the holy-roller religious type of candidate so Ted Cruz and Carson are stealing some of Trumps votes in SC. They also may be supporting Rubio because they think the Boy Wonder is more opposed to abortion than Trump.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      February 12, 2016 at 3:11 pm

      • The stupid Christians are still trying to steal our nomination. I’m still pissed Trump let them steal IA from us.

        Otis the Sweaty

        February 12, 2016 at 3:47 pm

      • Trump probably does worse in SC than the country as a whole because SC tends to support the holy-roller religious type of candidate so Ted Cruz and Carson are stealing some of Trumps votes in SC.

        South Carolina is closer than the national polls because the other candidates have put more effort into that state than country as a whole. Still, Trump does nicely there where he leads Cruz by almost twenty points. These numbers bode well for how Trump will perform when the other Southern states hold their primary votes.

        The Undiscovered Jew

        February 12, 2016 at 5:40 pm

  6. It should be noted that Trump does need to outperform as compared to an establishment candidate. If he had 30% of delegates and four others had 20%, it is likely those would combine to shut him out at the convention.

    The cynic would say that the establishment doesn’t mind keeping lots of people in the race since they will combine them later on.

    By winning bigger he is foiling the establishment for two reasons:
    (1) He may be able to get an outright majority of delegates.
    (2) By winning big he creates the public expectation that he is the nominee. Then a brokered convention would be perceived as cheating by the establishment.


    February 12, 2016 at 4:06 pm

  7. I follow a long-time Carson supporter on Twitter. I feel bad for him, and the rest of them. It’s pretty clear that Carson has never been in this to win it. It’s all about selling books for him, and maybe he’ll get a Fox News show after like Huckabee did.

    Dave Pinsen

    February 12, 2016 at 5:24 pm

  8. I think we’ll see Carson and Kasich exit. If they wait any longer after SC, they will look undignified, and I think both have cultivated enough goodwill to guarantee revenue streams in the coming years (books, speeches, etc).

    I don’t see how Bush bows out after SC. The sunken costs and cognitive dissonance of his campaign portend a prolonged humiliation. He’s going to go down in flames and at least will try to take Rubio down with him.

    E. Green

    February 12, 2016 at 5:49 pm

  9. South Carolina is Lindsay Graham country. He must have some kind of machine. Be wary of it.


    February 12, 2016 at 10:23 pm

  10. Several weeks back, Cruz handily won one-on-one vs. Trump when that matchup was polled. After “Carsongate”, his extremely “beta” performance in the NH debate, and a number of tactical gaffes (the latest being “pornstargate”), I’m not at all sure that result would be the same today. Also Trump’s ruthless, biting attack ads are more effective than Cruz’ “cute”, “clever” ads.

    I don’t know who drops out after next Saturday–maybe Kasich. Carson I fear may stick it out to the bloody end the way Huckabee did in ’08 (just to be a spoiler for Romney). I’m honestly not sure why nobody is going after Carson–he has more skeletons in his closet than Party City after a recession-year Halloween, and surely the 2-6% of the vote he is pulling is attractive to somebody.

    Martin L.

    February 13, 2016 at 2:23 pm

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