Skip to comments.Friday Interview: The Polling Guru of the Iowa Caucuses
Posted on 11/25/2011 3:08:43 PM PST by MontaniSemperLiberi
Selzer, who lives in Des Moines, polls for news outlets across the country, from the Boston Globe to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, as well as private clients. But it's in the highly politicized terrain of the presidential caucuses in her home state that she's best known. Her surveys have proved unfailingly accurate in predicting caucus winners, and she's not afraid to go out on a limb and defy conventional wisdom based on her faith in her data. That's what she did in 2008, when she was the only pollster to predict a big caucus victory for Barack Obama. She took a beating from the Hillary Clinton and John Edwards campaigns. But on caucus night, Obama won by eight points, just as Selzer's controversial poll had predicted.
Selzer's latest survey of the GOP field in Iowa (this one conducted for Bloomberg News and released Nov. 15) finds a four-way tie, with 20 percent for Herman Cain, 19 percent for Ron Paul, 18 percent for Mitt Romney and 17 percent for Newt Gingrich.
In the following interview, conducted over a recent lunch in Des Moines, Selzer talks about the tough terrain of caucus polling, why she never stops worrying and what currents she's seeing in the Iowa Republican electorate this time around.
(Excerpt) Read more at theatlantic.com ...
This is what I mean when I say the polls are all over the place.
Do you guys think Gingrich is going to be hurt significantly with his illegal immigration comments, and if so, who do you think will pick up that support?
I think he’s going to drop pretty much, but not as much as Perry did. I also think Herman Cain will get a good portion of the supporters who leave Gingrich.
from your keyboard to God’s monitor
I’m fascinated by political polling and it’s always interesting to read about a pollster with an excellent record; especially in the caucuses for which the attendance is so difficult to predict. And, as a Cain supporter, I hope her streak continues as she still shows him at the top of the pack.
Herman Cain does seem like the only candidate who’s supporters seem to actually feel excited about him compared to the other candidates. I think that will result in a better showing than the polls are showing in these States.
I am an Iowan and I believe her 4-way tie results are currently accurate. 40-odd days until caucus night leaves enough time for individual candidates to flame out, but probably not enough time for one to drastically improve in polling.
I agree. As well as most Herman Cain supporters don’t go “Rabbid Dog” on here when people don’t agree with them.
Mostly they just lay out the facts and clean up any false items that are out there.
I think Herman will take Iowa and he will take SC for sure.
There’s a lot of apologists for Newt this time around, and it befuddles me. I remember the amnesty debates during the Bush years and remember, quite clearly, that the anti-amnesty conservatives won and this became the majority position. Instead, however, I see lots of people still on the amnesty bandwagon. I suspect because they’ve forgotten their history and are just so desperate to have a smooth talking candidate. We’ll have to wait until next week before we’ll see if there is a drop or not in any of the polls.
Yes, the excitement among Cain supporters is very high and superior to that of other candidates. This might be a secret weapon that wins us Iowa. If Cain takes Iowa, he’ll be back on top of the world again, and the other conservatives should mostly fall in line.
I am from Iowa and have participated in every Caucus since 1988.
Iowa will bunch up the conservatives and Mitt Romney will win.
He will then win New Hampshire.
He will then win the nomination.
He will lose to Obama.
And the Supreme Court will rule that ObamaCare is legal.
The fact that the Establishment media - Left and Right, actually more of the Right lately - is still piling on Cain tells you he is still a very viable contender and not nearly as dead as they left him for. They are throwing everything on the wall about him hoping something sticks. First it was beware white women he is a monster who will harass you and try to rape you; then it was he is a bumbling idiot who doesn’t know anything; now it’s he can’t win any new black votes in fact he will lose more black votes.
If I were to bet even money, I’d bet Mitt doesn’t win SC. His problem with conservatives will become apparent and is inability to win the general without them will be clear.
It is my hope can continue to rebound. I would bet his attorney has been doing some background work regarding Allred and that bunch.