Three-Way Tie in GOP National Poll

The latest Fox News/Opinion Dynamics Pol; (The margin of error for the GOP breakout of the poll is +/- 6%.)) has a three-way tie at the top: Giulani (20%), Huckabee (19%) and McCain (19%). The PDF of the full poll can be found here.

Here’s the GOP section specifically:

The most interesting, and telling, bit of information is that Giuliani lost 13 points from November to December. Likewise, Huckabee’s explosion is clear and dramatic. McCain, apart from an August slump, has been fairly steady. Romney, too, has been steady, which is problematic for him, as the time is now to make a move. Thompson’s fade continues as well.

Two other points: Ron Paul supporters, please note: Dr. Paul is included in the poll, and is in a statistical tie with Duncan Hunter and the now-out-of-the-race Tom Tandredo. And, I must confess, I don’t see a Huckabee-like take off any time soon (indeed, I expect the energy of Huckabee’s ascent to exhaust itself soon).

FILED UNDER: 2008 Election, ,
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. Lorenz says:

    Your going to believe a FOX news poll?

  2. Matt says:

    Wouldn’t that fact that Ron Paul is statistically tied with Duncan hunter be a perfect example of how these polls are not completely accurate? Clearly Ron Paul has far more support than Duncan Hunter on every account…

  3. zmeister says:

    I appreciate your pointing out the Dr. Paul is included in this poll, however, I believe his support is larger than the poll reflects. I myself am one of the many who have never been involved in politics in any way until I was introduced to Dr. Paul’s message. I am looking forward to the actual caucuses and primaries to see how big his support really is. I think the early states will tell us that. I think its big, but we shall see in a couple of weeks.

  4. John says:

    Hi, I’m a first time reader and a Ron Paul supporter. I personally think it’s important you look at the historical accuracy of polls before putting too much faith in them. I can’t confirm it, but I read somewhere that John Kerry was polling at or around 4% at this time in 2003.

    Also, a good number of Ron Paul supporters are first time voters, Independents, or party switchers.

    I just wish more people knew about Giuliani’s shady database company dealings and his poor treatment of the 9/11 rescue workers…they probably wouldn’t call him “America’s Mayor” then.

  5. Fluffy says:

    I’m not going to pretend that Paul is a front-runner, but isn’t it simply absurd to attempt to persuade anyone that he has the same number of supporters as Duncan Hunter?

    I mean – truly, truly absurd?

    Hunter, Tancredo, Paul – statistically tied. Yeah, sure. Never mind the fact that every other possible measure of a campaign’s support doesn’t show that.

    I really don’t see any conclusion to draw other than that some polling organizations have become push-polls for the party establishment. I think this is almost certainly true of Gallup and Zogby. They seem to be engaged in a naked attempt at voter suppression. Rasmussen’s numbers seem to be a little more trustworthy.

    I can believe 7-9% for Paul. I can possibly believe 3-4%, but only if Tancredo and Hunter are at 0. But asking me to accept that Tancredo, Paul and Hunter are statistically tied insults my intelligence.

  6. David says:


    I appreciate you letting us know that Ron Paul’s name is included in the Poll. That is certainly an improvement over the vast majority of polls that have taken place.

    However, something just doesn’t add up here. Why is it that when we use the straw poll barometer to measure a candidates support the results are dramatically different. These are polls where people actually show up and vote.

    Actual Straw Poll Results

    You may want to do an investigative piece to explore the “Bi Polar” nature between these two polling methods.

    Steven, I’m sure you read the responses to your posted articles, so please answer the question that is presented in this post.

  7. John Campbell says:

    Consider the source. Maybe Frank Luntz helped out on this one.

  8. jason says:

    ascent, not assent.

  9. Jason,

    Thanks for the correction.

    And I must say: the Paulites do not dissapoint 😉

  10. 1951Patriot says:

    Believe Faux news if you want but Ron Paul can and will win. The suppressed message of true Liberty and real prosperity is being heard. People are sick of the same old tired lies that have headed us toward endless war and financial collapse. We are enticed to give up our Constitutionally guaranteed Liberties for a false sense of security and we are ending up with neither. No one doubts we are in a calamitous mess but only Ron Paul is offering any real solutions.

  11. David,

    Two things:

    1st, the poll I note above is a national one, not one aimed at Iowa.

    2nd, and far more importantly: straw polls are worthless as predictive indicators. All they measure are the opinions of persons present at a given event and are wholly self-selected. It is not at all unusual for highly motivated supporters of a given candidate to be present at such events. As predictors of outcomes, however, they tell us nothing. They do not consist of a randomly selected sample that would be representative of the actually voting population.

  12. If you all don’t like Opinion Dynamics (which is hired by Fox, not run by Fox), go over to RCP and note that Paul’s average is 4%.

    Look, there are a lot of things I like about Paul, but he isn’t going to win. Indeed, he isn’t even going to do that well, and events will support that prediction.

  13. Paul says:

    Statistically, Ron is also 3rd place in Iowa and New Hampshire. Also the top fundraiser in the Republican Party. So it’s kind of absurd to compare him to Duncan Hunter.

    What’s next; Fred Thompson being the next Ronald Reagan? Oh wait, some people actually predicted that!

  14. CSL says:

    Please tell us how your polls are conducted.

    Are you calling likely republican voters?

    Likely republican voters are usually only those that were registered Republicans who voted in last years primary.

    Please. Can you tell me. Is that the case with your poll?

    Does anyone really believe that only 2 in 100, or 5 in 100, or even only 10 in 100 people voting in the primaries this year are going to vote for Paul?

    Of course not. These polls mean nothing and the primaries will show just how inaccurate they are.

    These “Scientific Polls” ONLY include:

    Registered republicans who voted in last years primary.

    These “Scientific Polls” DON’T include:

    * Democrats like me who converted for Paul.
    * Independent voters
    * Republicans who did NOT vote last year (many)
    * Constitution Party
    * Libertarian Party
    * Apathetic voters who find a reason to vote in Paul

    These polls never have, but then there has never been such a Principled man running before!

  15. 1951Patriot says:

    “They do not consist of a randomly selected sample that would be representative of the actually voting population.”
    I think it is more accurate to call the implied legitimate sample as very selective since Fox is well known for deliberately pushing their own skewed opinions and trying to claim they are “fair and balanced” when they are in fact just the opposite.
    Straw polls may in reality be a better indicator of likely support in the case of a candidate like Ron Paul whose supporters are guaranteed not to miss the primaries, caucuses or the general election. It appears that everyone else’s support is not nearly so solid or growing so fast as Paul’s but instead seem to be disintegrating.

  16. CSL says:

    In addition:

    Shuckabee polls very high, but no one gives him money and he only has $3million in donors? But he is top in the polls? Thats odd.

    Romney is high in the poll, but aside from the money he has given himself, he has not raised much money either.

    Julie Annie. Same. No money.

    Don’t all these top tier candidate supporters know they have to give them money to win? HA HA HA HAHAHAHAHA.

    hilarious. The only money they get is from themselves, special interest and corporate donors.

    Polls are crap. Paul is the winner.

  17. What’s next; Fred Thompson being the next Ronald Reagan? Oh wait, some people actually predicted that!

    Not me. As examples: here and here.

  18. John says:

    The total sample is 900 registered voters nationwide with a margin of error
    of ±3 percentage points. Results are of registered voters, unless otherwise
    noted. LV = likely voters
    Democrats n=379, ±5 percentage

    And this poll says that only 3 in 100 people are going to vote for Ron Paul.

    Sure. No way in hell. Add the margin of error, and it is 6. I am not voting for Paul, but pleez. This is snake oil.

  19. Mark Jaquith says:

    This is a poll of registered voters, not likely voters. So it doesn’t measure depth, just width. It doesn’t take into account the strength of support. With Iowa caucus attendance at a traditional 5%, strength of support could make all the difference on that cold, dark, winter night. I think you’re going to be surprised at how Paul does in Iowa and NH.

  20. Mayberry says:

    Ron Paul received contributions from over 100,000 different people this quarter. He received $18,000,000 from those 100,000 people. His support is wide and deep. Look around your town and notice you see RP signs everywhere. Grab a cup of coffee and go to

  21. Cody says:

    Isn’t it also true to say that Ron Paul is statistically tied with Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson? 3 +/- 6 gives 0 to 9. and 11 +/- 6 gives 5 to 17. There is a region of overlap. And it is even within one standard deviation of both distributions (at least 1/3 odds) that Ron Paul has more support in the population than Mitt Romney does, based on these data.

    Also, Ron Paul supporters are underrepresented in telephone polls.

    Cody P.

  22. Yes, that is true that Romney, Paul and Thompson are in with the MOE of each other.

    However, you have no empirical evidence to support the following conclusion:

    Also, Ron Paul supporters are underrepresented in telephone polls.

    That is an article of faith, not a defensible observation.

  23. Cody says:

    I would not call it either an article of faith or a defensible observation.

    It is a reasonable hypothesis to explain the disconnect between telephone polling results and other indicators of support–straw polls, Internet polls, cell phone text polls, Internet traffic, public demonstrations, fund raising, and others.

    I am not aware if any scientific tests have been conducted to test the hypothesis. I have seen extensive anecdotal evidence that the population of likely Ron Paul voters include Independents, Democrats, and newcomers to the political process in concentrations greater than polls such as these are known to sample.

    Cody P.

  24. You build your hypothesis on a faulty premise–i.e., the straw polls mean nothing, and therefore are not a valid place to start for arguing about the results of actual polls.

  25. Cody says:

    If you read the entire message, you will see that straw polls are only one of six possible measures of support that I listed.

    Your comment that straw polls mean nothing is either hyperbole or abject nonsense. Please clarify.