Exciting Gallup Poll: No Change

Fred Thompson is up and John McCain is this year’s Comeback Kid, according to USA Today‘s Susan Page.

Former Tennessee senator Fred Thompson has gotten a modest bump in support after finally announcing he’s running for the Republican presidential nomination, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds. And Arizona Sen. John McCain may have started to turn around his beleaguered campaign.

McCain, who bottomed out in a USA TODAY poll in mid-August after financial woes and a staff shake-up, has rebounded by 4 percentage points, to 15%. Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney has slipped 4 points from August, to 10%.

Gallup Poll Republicans That’s very interesting news. Looking at the actual poll numbers, however, doesn’t show that.

Thompson’s “bounce” is within the margin of error and McCain’s numbers are pretty much what they have been for the last two months; the previous poll was an outlier. Nothing significant has happened at all with the Thompson and McCain numbers. That doesn’t make for as good a story, granted, but it’s what the poll shows.

Of course, since Gallup is just asking “adults,” the data are next to meaningless. But that’s a whole ‘nother story.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Dave Schuler says:

    I sometimes wonder how many newspaper reporters, editors, and columnists ever took a statistics course.

  2. James Joyner says:

    Indeed. Although Page is a seasoned pro; I’m really surprised by this coming from her.

  3. SPQR says:

    Part of this is the media’s need to create “news” where there is not any, “Polling unchanged” is a headline that lacks appeal. The rest is the usual media cheer-leading for McCain.