Florida Primary Results: A Pattern Emerges

First the results: New Gingrich Did Not Lose by As Much As You Might have Guessed He Might.

By the numbers, as estimated by various news agencies:

ROMN: 47
GING: 32
SANT: 13
PAUL: 07
OTHR: 01

That’s a mighty strong showing for “Other” … it will be interesting to look into that.

Here’s the sequence over the last several days showing the March of the Numbers comparing Romney and Gingrich in polls

The last gazillian polls leading up to the Florida Primary. Romney has clearly always been the frontrunner. Except when he wasn't. These squiggles are comprised of moving averages that cover three polls in a row ordered approximately in temporal sequence, from Real Clear Politics.

The pattern we see in Florida reflects the pattern of the overall primary process. No one ever had any doubt that Romney was going to win this primary, but in fact, there were two times when he was not ahead in the polls, and at the last minute, note that Romney was dropping in numbers with Gingrich gaining . Ron Paul remains irrelevant.

Here’s the bigger picture. Before the Iowa Caucuses Romney was considered the most likely person to win. Santorum won.

Before the New Hampshire Primary was considered the most likely person to win. But Oscar the Grouch could have won that primary had he been from the Greater Boston Area, of which New Hampshire is a minor suburb.

Before the North Carolina Primary, Romney was considered to be the most likely person to win. Um. New Gingrich won that primary.

So, to date, the candidate who is repeatedly labeled as the most likely to win the nomination has won half of the contests and is being dogged by a formidable, if obnoxious, opponent.

Furthermore, TV pundits are getting something else wrong: They keep pointing out that Romney is already the winner of the big picture, and as evidence of this they proffer his superior numbers when compared to Obama, vis-a-vis the other Republican contenders. But they tend to fail to mention that when Republicans in general are polled nation wide, they pick Gingrich over Romney. Gingrich, not Romney, is the “big picture” likely winner according that to that set of data. The data for this polling goes way back in time, but let’s just go back through August.

March of the polling numbers, 4-poll moving average, since the beginning of August. These numbers reflect overall national preference among Republicans. From Real Clear Politics.

Over the last several weeks, Gingrich and Romney have traded places at the top of the national preference race, with Gingrich currently winning.

Yet, we still hear that Romney is the presumptive winner.

The next races are Nevada (on Feb 4th), and Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri (on Feb 7th). How are the candidates polling there?

Gingrich is beating Romney in Missouri by a small margin. Gingrich is beating Romney by a very large margin in Minnesota. I don’t know of any data from the other states, but the all important Ohio, which is part of Super Tuesday (in March) has Gingrich and Romney neck and neck (Gingrich is up by one point currently).

So what is the pattern? A horse race. I suspect this is going to be a horse race through Super Tuesday, at which time the horses will count up the delegates. I also suspect that Gingrich will stay in this race as long as it is mathematically possible even if it would require a bolt of lighting to possibly win.

I no longer think Santorum is a factor. Did I mention that Ron Paul is irrelevant?

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10 Responses to Florida Primary Results: A Pattern Emerges

  1. Ace of Sevens says:

    If Santorum drops out, Gingrich will get most of his supporters, so that could really help him.

  2. Greg Laden says:

    Absolutely. And, also, it is absolutely possible that either Romney or Gingrich will implode. More likely for the latter, but possible for either one.

    In the post I say I gave up on Santorum, but a full on implosion of Gingrich could bring him into play as a kingmaker, or VP or something (though most talk of such things during primaries is just talk most of the time).

  3. Trebuchet says:

    Off topic, of course, but once again I curse the moron at Microsoft who decided yellow was a good color for making graph lines in Excel.

    The other thing I’m noticing is that the total of the four candidates seems to be steadily dropping off. Is “none of the above” coming on strong?

  4. Greg Laden says:

    Microsoft? What’s that? Excel? Do people still use that?

    Those graphs, which I admit I threw together too quickly, are meant to be read right to left. So they are dropping off as we go into the past.

    The gap in the numbers was Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry, mainly. Emphasis on gap.

  5. Quizmaster1 says:

    Thank God we have two great candidates to help turn this country around. Sorry I had to throw that one in there. I personnaly lean more towards Gingrich but I believe Romney will come out on top. See you at the polls come November to cancel at least your vote out Greg. God Bless America and our soldiers fighting for democracy.

  6. F says:

    I don’t see any god, or two candidates who might “turn this country around”. In which universe is this?

  7. christdenier says:

    “Before the North Carolina Primary, Romney was considered to be the most likely person to win. Um. New Gingrich won that primary.”

    It was actually South Carolina. North Carolina’s is not until early May. (I’m a resident.)

    I have a suspicion that it wasn’t the Rethuglicans who put Gingrich on top in SC – it was Dems. South Carolina’s primary is open, meaning that regardless of party affiliation, a voter can cast a vote in either party’s contest. Dems vote for the more unelectable candidate in the Repub race to make Obama’s chances that much easier. :-)

    (This is precisely why I changed to “unaffiliated” yesterday, even though my loyalties are liberal. It allows me to vote in the conservative party’s contest in May.)

  8. drdale says:

    I prefer using Gnumeric to create graphs and do simple data analysis instead of Excel or Quattro Pro.

    Labeling the axes would make the data a lot easier to evaluate your statements.

  9. Human Ape says:

    This is one of the reasons why I voted for Gingrich in the Florida Primary: Why Gingrich’s Tax Plan Beats Romney’s

  10. One thing I hate about Romney as the “presumptive winner”: he is being declared this despite the fact that it is — or, at least, should be — well known that the “Moral Majority” types are evangelicals who think that Mormons are not Christian (which means they’re atheists — of course, since Romney believes that Jebus and Gawd are aliens from the vicinity of Kolob, that is technically accurate) and thus will run away from Romney as fast as they can. Either they ignore this, or just claim that “Obama will unite the Republicans” as if the fundagelicals going to start ignoring Romney’s Mormonism any time soon.

    This fact also happens to be why Romney has never mustered more than 50% support, which is another fact that the pundits keep ignoring. Without that, it’s simply a matter of the fractured opposition whittling itself down to one candidate. Or, in this case, two, because RON PAUL forbid that RON PAUL’s supporters support anyone other than RON PAUL because he’s RON PAUL.

    I have been predicting that the anti-Romney sentiment and the fleeing of libertarians to Paulbottery will force a brokered convention. I have yet to see any polling or primary results that indicate any differently, and with Trump throwing his weight behind Gingrich today things are going to get a lot more nasty.

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