ghostrunner wrote:Pretty much every state poll except South Carolina has Biden in a worse position than the national polls do. Which makes me wonder if people view national polls more as a question of who will or is likely to win, even if that’s not what they’re asked.
I'd guess it's more a form of name recognition, and that, for example, Iowa and New Hampshire have higher name recognition for Sanders and Warren, because the candidates have started making more noises in those states.
It's 80% about fame at this point. On this day in 2007 Clinton was ahead of Obama by 17 points and McCain was in fourth place at 10%, polling way behind America's Mayor Rudy Giuliani. At this point in 2011 Romney was 11 points behind Rick Perry. At this point in 2015 it was Clinton 47-Sanders 23. It's very early.
IMO the three things to do when watching polls right now are:
1. Don't pay too much attention to one poll. Don't let one poll freak you out or get you excited. In the last 2 months there have been 8 polls conducted in Iowa. This is one of 4 that has Biden leading in that state. One has Buttigieg winning. One has Biden and Warren tying. Two have Warren winning. None have Sanders winning and half of them have him at 12% or less so it's unlikely he's in the mid-20s. It shouldn't be dismissed, however, we should...
2. Keep an eye on rolling averages and consider trends. RCP is a great place for this. Warren's poll average in NH is third. It's really tight among the top three, and with margin of error you could call any of the the three the favorite right now, but it's not clear that Warren has moved into the pole position in NH. If Biden is worse in these states than he is nationally, it is not because of these polls. On average he's at 28.5 in IA and 27 in NV, which is just a bit under the 29 he's at nationally, within margin of error comfortably. When we look at these moving averages we can...
3. Find meaningful changes and eliminate noise. Harris's debate bump and subsequent fall means she's not yet sticky with voters. Ditto Beto, whose failed attempt to Giuliani the El Paso shooting (he's lower than he was a couple months ago) is a good indicator that a Senate run should be his priority. The Big Three in this race have some defining half-year long trends which I think are the most important thing in polling data now. Biden was more popular as a hypothetical candidate yet to announce than he is now, on TV and the web and the campaign trail daily. Sanders is stalled. Warren's is the only campaign of the top 6-7 candidates that is in tangibly better shape than it was at Easter, and she's been steadily winning voters for a half a year.