POLITICS

HUFFPOLLSTER: Ben Carson Rises To First Place In Iowa

A second Iowa poll shows Ben Carson surpassing Donald Trump. Expect a bump in polls for Hillary Clinton now that Joe Biden is officially out of the race. And one of us is moving on. This is HuffPollster for Friday, October 23, 2015

NEW POLLING SHOWS CARSON LEADING IN IOWA - John McCormick: "Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson has moved into a dominant position in Iowa, surpassing former front-runner Donald Trump as evangelical Christians begin to coalesce around him in the state that will cast the first 2016 nomination ballots. A new Bloomberg Politics/Des Moines Register Iowa Poll shows the retired neurosurgeon is backed by 28 percent of likely Republican caucus participants, up 10 percentage points since late August. Trump is supported by 19 percent, down 4 points. Those planning to caucus for Carson are drawn to his personal story and his status as a non-career politician, the poll shows, and they view him as someone who approaches issues with common sense and with guidance from his faith in God. 'His standing has improved in every way pollsters traditionally measure,' said J. Ann Selzer, president of West Des Moines-based Selzer & Co., which conducted the poll. 'This might be a wake-up for Donald Trump.' [Bloomberg]

Consistent with Quinnipiac poll - HuffPollster: "Carson, a neurosurgeon, is now in first place with 28 percent of the vote against Trump's 20 percent among those likely to attend the Iowa Republican caucus. The numbers represent a significant shift from a September Quinnipiac poll that showed Trump leading the field with 27 percent and Carson at 21 percent….Carson's boost comes primarily as a result of increased support from women. Thirty-three percent of female voters now support Carson and 13 percent support Trump, the poll found. One month ago, female voters were almost evenly split between Carson and Trump in a Quinnipiac poll. Carson's support is also strong among white Evangelical Christians. Thirty six percent of white Evangelical Christians support him, versus just 17 percent who support Trump." [HuffPost]

HuffPost Pollster's aggregation, which also includes an early October survey sponsored by Club for Growth Action, now gives Carson the lead:

BIDEN OUT MEANS GOOD NEWS FOR CLINTON'S POLL NUMBERS - HuffPollster: "Hillary Clinton, already seeing an uptick from her strong performance in the first Democratic primary debate, is likely to get another boost following Vice President Joe Biden's announcement on Wednesday that he won't run for president. Recent polling tells a consistent story: With Biden out of the race, his supporters will disperse -- and that's generally to Clinton's benefit….Across six October surveys that reported results with and without Biden, Clinton led Sanders by an average of 23 points when Biden was included, and by 29 points when he was not. With Biden in the mix, Clinton's share of the vote fell as low as 45 percent; without him, she took a majority of the vote in each case. That's substantially higher than she was polling even during her time as the front-runner in the fall of 2007, leading up to the 2008 Democratic primary." [HuffPost]

Clinton leads big with non-white Democrats... - Nate Cohn: “With Mr. Biden out, Mrs. Clinton is positioned to consolidate a key combination of elite support and moderate voters. The evidence of Mrs. Clinton’s gains could start to trickle in almost immediately, since she was the second choice of nearly all of Mr. Biden’s voters in public opinion polls over the last month….A united coalition of moderate, nonwhite and older voters represents a clear majority of the Democratic primary electorate. Mrs. Clinton took a commanding lead of 57 percent to 31 percent over Mr. Sanders in an average of seven September surveys that removed Mr. Biden from the equation. Similarly, an Upshot model from earlier this year suggested that Mrs. Clinton would have defeated Mr. Obama, 62 to 38 percent, in 2008 if black voters had voted like demographically similar nonblack voters (like Hispanic voters).” [NYT]

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...and dominates invisible primary - John Sides: “So Joe Biden is not running for president…I think this is a smart decision, and here’s why. Below is a graph of the number of endorsements of Democratic presidential candidates by Democratic governors, senators, or members of the House… Clinton’s dominance on [endorsements] is one key reason why she’s in such a strong position for the nomination: she had already locked up substantial support among Democratic Party leaders. Barring some catastrophic event — perhaps involving Clinton’s e-mail server, perhaps something else — it was going to be very tough for Biden to offer a serious challenge.” [WashPost]

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BLUE COLLAR SUPPORT PROPELS TRUMP IN GOP - Ron Brownstein: "The blue-col­lar wing of the Re­pub­lic­an primary elect­or­ate has con­sol­id­ated around one can­did­ate. The party’s white-col­lar wing re­mains frag­men­ted. That may be the most con­cise ex­plan­a­tion of the dy­nam­ic that has pro­pelled Don­ald Trump to a con­sist­ent and some­times com­mand­ing lead in the early stages of the GOP pres­id­en­tial nom­in­a­tion con­test. Both na­tion­al and state polls show Trump open­ing a sub­stan­tial lead among Re­pub­lic­an voters without a col­lege edu­ca­tion al­most every­where. And in al­most all cases, Trump is win­ning more sup­port from non­col­lege Re­pub­lic­ans than any can­did­ate is at­tract­ing from Re­pub­lic­an voters with at least a four-year edu­ca­tion." [National Journal]

CANADIAN PRE-ELECTION POLLS NAIL RESULTS - The Liberal Party picked up momentum in the final week of the campaign and upset the Conservatives, who had been in power for a decade. Seat count projections failed to predict that the Liberals would win an outright majority of the seats, but the national polls averages were very close to the outcome. As political scientist Charles Franklin noted (and illustrated) on Twitter, this was a considerable success for pre-election polling.   

How were the polls right, but the seat projections wrong? Éric Grenier: “Despite reaching the traditional threshold for a majority government in the popular vote, the Liberals should not have been able to win a majority government based on the 2011 distribution of their support. Instead of growing proportionately or predictably, the Liberals won new votes in unexpected (and largely unpredictable) places. And that tells us quite a bit about why the Liberals managed to win the election so handily. … In Ontario, the Liberals were particularly effective in attracting voters who did not cast a ballot in 2011. Turnout overall was significantly higher in this election than in 2011, and in about two-thirds of Liberal gains in Ontario the party owed its victory to these new (or returning) voters. This phenomenon was even stronger in British Columbia: four-fifths of Liberal gains can be attributed to new voters. Liberal gains in British Columbia thus came at the expense of the Conservatives rather than the NDP, which, despite dropping in the popular vote, gained seats. This is the kind of very localized shift that a seat projection model based on province wide trends will always struggle with.” [CBC]

SURVEY MONKEY MAKES A BIG HIRE -- Steve Shepard: “SurveyMonkey is seeking to become a big player in election polling, bringing a significant name in survey research on board just in time for the first votes of the 2016 election. Mark Blumenthal, who for the past decade has been the leading journalist covering the political polling industry, is leaving his post as senior editor of The Huffington Post to become SurveyMonkey’s first head of election polling. The move is a sign that, amid a period of intense change in the way pollsters collect data, SurveyMonkey — which began as a simple online survey tool — is beefing up its political polling.” [Politico]

...But HuffPost Pollster's not going anywhere Pollster will continue to be the excellent resource that Mark built it up to be, and you can still look forward to our newsletters, charts, coverage and analysis.

More from Shepard: The Huffington Post announced later Wednesday that it was promoting Natalie Jackson, a senior data scientist for HuffPost Pollster, to replace Blumenthal as senior polling editor. Ryan Grim, Huffington Post's D.C. bureau chief, noted that Jackson, new director of polling Ariel Edwards-Levy and Janie Velencia will comprise ‘one of very few (if not the only) all female polling teams in a very male-dominated field.’‘I think that I leave it in very good hands, in very good shape,’ Blumenthal said Tuesday. ‘The technology’s in good shape. There’s a really good team that I’m leaving in place.’”

THIS WEEK'S POLLS

-Donald Trump continues to lead the GOP field with Ben Carson close behind. [CNN]

-Republicans think Trump is the most likely candidate to win the GOP presidential nomination. [WashPost]

-Clinton gets a post debate poll bump, strengthening her national lead. [Monmouth University]

-Clinton widens her lead against Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary race. [WashPost]

-Clinton now leads Sanders by 20 percentage points nationally. [NBC]

-Without Joe Biden in the mix, Clinton is 48 percent to 41 percent against Sanders in Iowa. [Bloomberg]

-Clinton jumps ahead of Sanders in New Hampshire. [WBUR]

-Sixty-three percent of Republicans are comfortable with Sen. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) as Speaker. [NBC]

-Republicans are more likely than Democrats to consider gun violence less threatening than terrorism. [Fairleigh Dickinson University]

HUFFPOLLSTER VIA EMAIL! - You can receive this weekly update every Friday morning via email! Just click here. Enter your email address, and click "sign up." That's all there is to it (and you can unsubscribe anytime).

THIS WEEK'S 'OUTLIERS' - Links to the best of news at the intersection of polling, politics and political data:

-Gallup’s move away from polling the horserace disappoints Democratic pollster Peter Hart. Gallup editor-in-chief Frank Newport responds. [WSJ, WSJ]

-Frank Newport talks to Bob Garfield about Gallup’s decision. [On The Media]

-Nate Cohn discusses how Donald Trump differs from fellow “outsiders” Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina. [NYT]

-Peter Loewen, Arthur Lupia and Daniel Rubenson explain what the Canadian and British election polls tell us about Donald Trump. [Monkey Cage]

-Carolyn Nyce picks apart the science of Donald Trump’s favorite polls. [National Journal]

-Seth Masket says that “who won” is the worst question to ask about debates. [Pacific Standard]

-Roper Center researcher Kathleen Weldon looks at historical polling on debates. [HuffPost]

-Bob Groves renews the need for “data skepticism” in the analysis of “big data.” [Georgetown.edu]

-Trump is the only White House candidate without a voter file. [Quartz via @alexlundry]

-Michael McDonald and coauthors argue that voter lists are too expensive for independent and nonpartisan groups or candidates. [Washington Post]

-Certain chronic illnesses are associated with higher voter turnout, according to research by Sarah Gollust and Wendy Rahn. [Monkey Cage]

-The Asbury Park Press profiles pollster Patrick Murray. [APP]

-Joe Vince tracks curse words per minute during the Michigan State vs. Michigan game. [Upvoted via @FrankLuntz]

-The Dallas Cowboys are once again America’s favorite NFL team. [Harris Poll]

-You are probably wrong about almost everything, says the Datablog. [Guardian]

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