Normally when I write about polling, I do a bunch of math, find out confidence intervals, check up on crosstabs, and examine trends to see who’s doing well, and why.
When it comes to the 2016 Presidential polling though, I won’t yet deign to give it any such analysis. Because you see, right now, any idiot can poll “well.”
It’s too early, there are too many candidates, and on the Republican side, nobody’s polling at a meaningful level yet. Republicans are polling so badly that fringe candidates can get numbers that are competitive with them. How do I know this? In the most recent Fox poll, we see that Bernie Sanders is outpolling every Republican.
We’re hearing all about how Bush is the frontrunner, or Trump is surging and dominating, but none of it is true. You’re not a frontrunner, you’re not dominating, you’re not even doing well if can’t show you have a lot of support. None of them do! Nobody’s really winning. Right now the GOP contest is a slap fight. Even if you’re slapping harder than the other guy, you’re not really going to achieve anything except making yourself look stupid.
Consider how much of a fringe lunatic Sanders is. He’s so far left, that he’s out of step with the mainstream of the Democrat party, and he’s outpolling Republican “frontrunners.” Given that there are about as many Democrats as Republicans (and in fact the Democrat party tends to have more registered voters), we can see that Bernie Sanders, who’s getting absolutely boatraced, has more support than any Republican.
It’s July of 2015. We need to give it time to shake out before we start getting meaningful horserace polling, folks.