Monday, October 31, 2011

A look at the full Des Moines-Register poll results

For Newt and the other candidates besides one, Sunday was a slow day. The full results of the Des Moines-Register poll did come out, however. What they show has been reflected in other polls: those who will be voting in Republican primaries simply view Newt more favorably today than they have in a long time.

I think a lot of it is that Newt has been able to go speak directly to the American people through debates and other venues. Whatever the reason, though, Newt's favorability ratings have gone very high. A good way to describe the relationship between favorability ratings and actual voter support is to think of the former as leading indicators and the latter as lagging indicators.

Cain was seen as a breakout candidate for much of the summer because while his actual poll numbers were not too impressive, his favorability numbers were quite impressive. Newt, at this moment, has much better poll numbers than Cain did -- and his favorability numbers are nearly as good.

So while we have no idea how the allegations of Cain will play out, we do know that Newt has plenty of room to grow given the present polling data. On top of that, Newt will have a chance to debate Cain one-on-one this upcoming Saturday. Then, on November 9th, a regular debate. Then -- and this will be a strength for Newt -- a foreign policy debate on November 15. As some have noted, this will be the last impression for many voters before the holiday season begins.

So within 11 days, Newt will be in three high-profile debates. I am going to bet that those will only help him. And some candidates may look very foolish during the foreign policy debate especially.

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