HUFFPOLLSTER: Americans Weigh In On The 2016 Candidates They'd Least Like To Spend Thanksgiving With

Ted Cruz has surged to within the margin of error of Trump’s lead in Iowa, but be careful how you interpret that. Louisiana’s gubernatorial election was a big win for Democrats and for polling.  And we've rounded up all the Thanksgiving surveys you need. This is HuffPollster for Wednesday, November 25, 2015.

CRUZ’S NUMBERS SPIKE IN IOWA - HuffPollster: "Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is vaulting into the Iowa caucus' first tier of Republican candidates, a survey released Tuesday suggests. A new Quinnipiac University poll shows Cruz taking 23 percent to Donald Trump's 25 percent among likely GOP caucus-goers. Former neurosurgeon Ben Carson and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) stand at 18 percent and 13 percent respectively, with the field's 10 other candidates all polling at or below 5 percent. Cruz's support has risen 13 points since Quinnipiac's survey of the race last month, mostly at the expense of Carson, whose support fell by 10 points. Trump's numbers, which dipped in October, have largely recovered." [HuffPost]

But scoring within the margin of error doesn't really imply a tie - HuffPollster: "So maybe this means that Trump and Cruz are kinda, sorta... tied? Not really. 'Within the margin of error' simply means that we can’t be 95 percent certain Trump is genuinely leading Cruz in this poll. Pollsters use the margin of error to describe how much error there might be in a poll estimate due to random sampling. It’s almost always calculated at the 95 percent confidence level. This means that for a poll with a margin of error of 4 percentage points, you could conduct the same poll 100 more times with 100 different random samples and the results would still end up within a 4-point range in 95 of the polls….When two poll estimates fall within the margin of error -- such as Cruz’s 23 percent and Trump’s 25 percent -- all it means is that we’re somewhat less than 95 percent confident that Trump would still lead Cruz if the poll used a different random sample…. In fact, there’s about an 80 percent chance that Trump actually leads Cruz in the Quinnipiac poll. " [HuffPost]

A GOOD RESULT FOR POLLSTERS IN LOUISIANA - Kirby Goidel and Keith Gaddie: "There were two winners Saturday's Louisiana general runoff. One was state Rep. John Bel Edwards, the unknown Democrat who was elected governor. The other was political polling.....The failure of political polls to capture the late surge to Republican Matt Bevin left most observers wondering whether the polls might be equally flawed in Louisiana. As LSU political scientist Michael Henderson observed, the polls would have to be much further off than the Kentucky polls to miss their mark in Louisiana. In the end, Democrat John Bel Edwards defeated David Vitter by a healthy 12-point margin, not far off the 10-point margin estimated by Huffpost Pollster based on aggregated state poll results. Before we get too self-congratulatory, however, it worth noting that looking at the average misses considerable variation across polls which ranged from a 4-point to 20-point margin. The larger lesson is not that we need less polling in state elections but that we need more. [HuffPost]


Americans don't want Donald Trump at their Thanksgiving table - Public Policy Polling (D): "Donald Trump leads PPP's newest poll by a wide margin...on which candidate Americans think would be the most likely to say something inappropriate at the table and ruin Thanksgiving Dinner. 46% say they think Trump would be the candidate most likely to ruin Thanksgiving, as much as all the rest of the candidates combined. Hillary Clinton at 22%, Bernie Sanders at 7%, Jeb Bush and Ben Carson at 6%, Ted Cruz at 4%, and Marco Rubio at 1% round out the standings on who people think would be most likely to wreck the holiday.". [PPP]

This can't really be about turkeys - More from Public Policy Polling: "...[B]y a 27 point margin Republicans say they disapprove of the President's executive order last year pardoning two Thanksgiving turkeys (Macaroni and Cheese) instead of the customary one. Only 11% of Republicans support the President's executive order last year to 38% who are opposed- that's a pretty clear sign that if you put Obama's name on something GOP voters are going to oppose it pretty much no matter what.”

Leftovers rule: Eight in 10 Americans say having leftovers is the best part of hosting Thanksgiving dinner. [Harris]

HuffPollster will be taking a brief break for the holiday. We'll see you next week. Happy Thanksgiving! 

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-A CNN/Kaiser Family Foundation poll finds that nearly half of Americans think racism is “a big problem in our society today.” [CNN]

-Americans are more likely to support a national registry of gun owners over a registry of Muslims. [YouGov]

-Americans have very complicated feelings about the federal government. [Pew, HuffPost]

-A majority of voters approve of Donald Trump's idea to deport millions of illegal immigrants out of the U.S. [Fox News]

-Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz are inching close to Ben Carson as the most most liked candidate by Republican voters. [Gallup]  

-Views on Obamacare take a slight turn toward negative. [HuffPost]

-A Google Consumer Survey shows Ben Carson beating out every other GOP candidate in a head-to-head race. [NYT]

-Support for sending troops to fight ISIS in Iraq and Syria gets a slight bump. [Gallup]

-New Hampshire voters would much rather vote for non-candidate Mitt Romney than any of the current GOP candidates. [Suffolk]

-Donald Trump reemerges as the frontrunner in an Iowa poll, while Ted Cruz surges and Rubio moves to second place in New Hampshire [CBS]

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

-CNN announces its criteria for inclusion in the next Republican primary debate, including polls from Iowa and New Hampshire. [CNN]

-Nate Silver places Donald Trump’s odds of winning the Republican nomination somewhere above zero, but well below 20 percent. [FiveThirtyEight]

-S.V. Dáte explains that polls aren’t predictive because no one is paying attention to the 2016 races yet. [National Journal]

 -David Byler looks at when early state primary polls will become predictive of outcomes. [RCP]

-According to polling data, this is the best stump speech Republicans could give. [FiveThirtyEight]

-Support for DC statehood reaches a record high. [WashPost]

-The Sun newspaper in Britain takes criticism over the methodology and reporting of a survey of the nation's Muslims. [The Guardian, HuffPost UK]