Looking Ahead: The horse race and the size of government

As they do after each election, the fine folks at McLaughlin & Associates, have released some post-election surveys for everyone to chew on. One poll looked at the size of government and the other looked at 2012 Republican candidates. Both surveys were of 1000 people with a margin of error of +/- 3.1%.

McLaughlin & Associates asked this question:

Would you say you most favor a smaller government with fewer services, or a larger government with many services?

53% were in favor of smaller government and 28% were in favor of larger government. Breaking that out, and pay attention Fred Barnes, David Brooks, etc.:

78% of Republicans favored smaller government, 54% of independents did, 78% of self-described conservatives did, and 46% of self-described moderates did. Democrats were at 33% and liberals at 25%.

More importantly, Hispanic voters were split with 38% wanting smaller government and 39% wanting larger government with 22% undecided.

Age wise, the only group wanting larger government was the 18 to 25 year old bracket.In addition to the size of government question, McLaughlin & Associates also asked about Republican candidates in 2012. While it is still way, way, way too early, it is an interesting snapshot to see voter thinking right now, having seen the collapse of the McCain campaign.

They found the following lineup:

Mitt Romney – 16%Mike Huckabee – 16%Sarah Palin – 12%Rudy Giuliani – 9%Newt Gingrich – 7%Bobby Jindal – 4%Steve Forbes – 3%Charlie Crist – 2%Tim Pawlenty – 2%Mark Sanford – 1%

29% of those surveyed did not know or refused to answer. The really interesting number to me is the breakout of self-identified conservatives. Among that group:

Mike Huckabee – 21%Mitt Romney – 17%Sarah Palin – 16%

Huckabee and Romney were also tied at 12% with self-described independents and Palin coming in at 10%.

Now, and this one stands out to me, people who consider themselves Christian, but independent of party allegiance, favor Palin over everyone else at 21%, with Huckabee at 17% and Romney at 13%.