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The official South Carolina/Nevada primary thread...


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As with Iowa and NH, there's a lot of fluidity in these early contests.  Plus, primaries/caucuses are notoriously difficult to poll.  So at this point, while Trump looks positioned to win SC tomorrow, there are some interesting trends.  First, the link:

http://elections.huffingtonpost.com/pollster/2016-south-carolina-presidential-republican-primary

Two interesting trends going on simultaneously.  First, Trump is neither surging nor falling.  He's pretty firm at that 30-35% rate.  Second, Rubio is definitely rising and it looks like Cruz might be falling.  Earlier in the week, Cruz was ahead in most of the polls by a few points.  The last three polls have him either tied or behind in the polls.  Kaish is making a solid 3rd/4th place showing in most of these, though about tied iwth Bush.  

What's interesting, though, is when you compare the recent polls with only a few undecided voters with those that have larger undecided results.  Basically, it looks like undecided voters are breaking in Rubio's favor heading into the primary tomorrow.  If that continues, that would put him in a strong 2nd place finish and perhaps signal him as the establishment choice to take on Trump/Cruz.  There's not enough polling evidence here to say for sure other than that things are trending his way, but that seems like a real possibility now.

On the Nevada/Democratic side of things, the best we can say is that it's very close and Clinton looks like she might have a small (and probably shrinking) lead.  But it's a caucus state, so it's harder to poll than other primaries (which are also hard to poll).  And there have only been three total polls released this month.  So that one is virtually impossible to call at this point.  My own view is that Nevada is kind of meaningless in terms of how the nomination will pan out.  South Carolina will be more telling because it will give insight into Sanders' chances of making inroads with minorities, and especially African Americans.  But it's the only contest on the Democratic side until the end of the month, so it'll get lots of media attention.

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Fair question.  It's the Pollster.com portion of Huffington Post.  And while Huffington Post is obviously biased, the Pollster.com area is very neutral.  The polling data and algorithms used to create the graphs are compiled by survey experts and political scientists.  They also link to all of the polls below the graph so people can check it out themselves. 

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7 minutes ago, Psychic Gibbon said:

What's with the lack of data for the Nevada caucuses?

No idea and it's very curious.  It was the same for SC for awhile.  Maybe because it's a caucus - which is harder to poll - combined with the fact that it's not a huge delegate count?  I don't know, though.  It's kind of a mystery.

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56 minutes ago, Leon Troutsky said:

Fair question.  It's the Pollster.com portion of Huffington Post.  And while Huffington Post is obviously biased, the Pollster.com area is very neutral.  The polling data and algorithms used to create the graphs are compiled by survey experts and political scientists.  They also link to all of the polls below the graph so people can check it out themselves. 

Don't try to dazzle us with your fancy considerations. HuffPo :lol:

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2 minutes ago, dirtyhairy said:

2 polls have Cruz within 5 points in SC. Jebs internal polls has it at 4-5. Rubio moving up. I would bet this move is in reply to Trump dumping on George W and 9/11. That in itself warranted considerable scorn by the fair minded.

The only South Carolina poll I'm seeing showing that is NBC's, and they're also the only ones to show Cruz with a lead nationally. Either they're way off or they're picking up on something that no one else is. I guess we'll see tomorrow.

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52 minutes ago, Psychic Gibbon said:

Vote for Trump, Cruz, or Sanders. Sanders will probably need the most help to get the nomination.

Sanders is definitely going to need the most help. Most polling data coming from SC has HRC winning by 20+. Also PPP came out with polling data for most of ST states and it did not look pretty for Sanders, but they have been pretty pro hillary in their polling for Iowa and NH, so we will see what happens. 

Also Vote Trump over Cruz.

 

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Another consideration will be the influx of independent voters in SC.  As someone else said, it looks like you can only vote in one of those primaries.  So it's possible that independents flock to the GOP primary tomorrow because it's the earlier one and the race is a little more exciting.  That means Sanders will have a huge disadvantage the following week in SC, if that happens.

I've got no data or evidence whatsoever to suggest that's going to happen (or not happen).  Just a thought I had.

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1 minute ago, Andras said:

Hillary was up double digits in Iowa once. Same for Nevada.

But wait....Early polls say so!

Meh....early polls show Sanders further ahead of Trump than Hillary. Way too soon!

You're conflating two very different things. 

First, primaries and especially caucuses are notiously difficult to poll.  So yeah, the polls showed Clinton up higher than she was in both places.  Primaries are also very fluid things.  The problem looking ahead is that you start running in a lot of states simultaneously, which makes it harder for a candidate to catch up.  Sander's had months to close the gap in Iowa.  NH was always going his way, but he had time there as well to rack up a lead.  And he will have had two weeks to focus on SC.  The problem for Sanders is basic demographics - IA and NH are predominantly white and Clinton is winning big with minorities who will make up 45-50% of the electorates in the South.  Is it possible for Sanders to make those inroads?  Of course, but his time is running out and he's not done it yet.  Without minorities, the math doesn't work for him.  And he hasn't made those inroads yet, so what reason is there to believe he's going to surge in SC and the SEC states?

Second, early polls FOR THE GENERAL ELECTION are virtually meaningless at this stage of the game.  I've explained this in another thread pretty clearly.  

The reason that early primary polls are unreliable is because of the fluid nature of those contests.  The reason that early general election polls are worthless (almost) is because voters aren't paying attention yet and won't start paying attention until August/September, so their responses will be based on factors that are not even at play yet.  

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