Latest Gallup Poll Puts Ron Paul At 4%by Doug Mataconis
This week’s poll results are out, and it seems that the September 10th release may have been a statistical anomaly:
PRINCETON, NJ — Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani continues to lead the national race for the Republican presidential nomination, although his support has faded to one of its lowest readings of the year. Former Tennessee senator Fred Thompson, who recently announced his candidacy, holds steady in second place, 8 percentage points behind the frontrunner. Meanwhile, Arizona Sen. John McCain has continued to recover from his early August doldrums and is in third place, only 4 points behind Thompson and more than 10 points ahead of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney. Romney’s mini-bounce after the Iowa straw poll in early August appears to have been short-lived.
In general, support for McCain has shown gradual improvement over the past month, and Americans’ opinions of McCain are at their highest point since May. McCain is now rated as favorably by Americans as Giuliani, and more so than the less-well known Thompson or Romney.
The Sept. 14-16, 2007, Gallup Poll survey finds Giuliani maintaining a significant lead over the eight other announced Republican candidates, with 30% of Republicans (and Republican-leaning independents) supporting the former New York City mayor for the nomination. Following next is Thompson at 22%, McCain at 18%, and Romney at 7%. Both former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee and current Texas Congressman Ron Paul get 4% of the vote.
Admittedly, an increase from 3% to 4% is, statistically speaking, not all that important. But at least it shows that the notoriety and support that the Paul campaign had gained over the summer didn’t simply evaporate. It also shows that the only way to really look at poll results is not as a single snapshot, but to watch the overall trends.
And, on the GOP side, the trends are interesting.
Giuliani remains in the lead, but his support is slipping and a guy who has only been in the race for a week is gaining on him fast. McCain is now a third-place candidate, which basically means he’s done. Romney had a boomlet for awhile but seems to be quickly fading.
As for Ron Paul, I’m not sure what it means. 4% is not a number upon which a winning campaign is built, but it does show that there’s growing support for a libertarian message among Republican voters.
And that can only be a good thing.