Monday, January 14, 2008

McCain leading Republicans in national primary polling

Polling problems have become a conspicuous feature of American politics, but generally they still are useful as predictors and John McCain's campaign must be thrilled with the latest reports from CNN which have McCain leading nationally by about 10 points over Mike Huckabee.

Part of the challenge with national polls is that they may be subject to a lot of simple "name recognition" bias - ie people are saying their favorite candidate is simply the one they've heard of. As the TV ads hit and the race heats up in the dozens of states with primaries coming up in a matter of weeks, we are likely to see a narrowing of the polling numbers in almost all races.

Tomorrow's Michigan vote will be a significant factor in the race, especially if McCain "steals" victory away from Romney. A Romney loss in Michigan could sound a death knell for his campaign which failed in Iowa and New Hampshire despite substantial effort and expense in those states.

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