The Truth About The Blind Zogby Poll

There have been several comments here as well as posts from Lew Rockwell and Free Market News Network claiming that Ron Paul won a “blind” Zogby poll where voters were presented only with candidates biographies and stand on the issues.

Well, it ain’t entirely true folks. Asked of all voters, yes, Paul wins. Asked of RepublicaNs actually likely to vote in the primaries, it’s no. And since most states do not have crossover primaries, the value of a lot of Democratic support seems small.

Here’s the Zogby Press Release, issued today:

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, long the favorite in nationwide samples of likely Republican voters in the 2008 race for the party’s presidential nomination, has the strongest resume of four top contenders, a new Zogby International survey shows.

The telephone survey, known as a “blind bio” poll because likely voters are given details of the candidates’ resumes without their names attached, shows Giuliani wins 34% support, compared to 22% each for Thompson and Romney. Ron Paul, who has surged recently in polls and has a significant online following, came in last with 13% support, while 9% said they were undecided on the question.

Only those four candidates were included in the question, which was commissioned by Jones Productions, a media company based in Austin, Texas. The survey included 389 likely Republican primary or caucus voters and was conducted Nov. 14–17, 2007. It carries a margin of error of +/– 5.1 percentage points.

The blind bio question was also posed to a larger pool of 1,009 likely voters nationwide, including Democrats and independents, and Paul was the big winner among that universe of voters, winning 33%, compared to 19% for Giuliani, 15% for Romney, and 13% for Thompson.

Full results here.

  • Immigrant

    Whats cool is that Democrats,Libertarians, and Independents are switching over to the Republican party in order to vote for the constitution. Lets not forget the many Republicans that did not vote last time that will be voting for Paul. So everything is cool. Ron Paul is set to win this thing for sure.

  • Brad Warbiany


    I wonder how Paul would do in a blind poll of all voters that included Hillary and Obama…

  • Curtis

    The poll illustrates the need for the Republican base to support Ron Paul in the primary. He has broad enough support to outperform all other Republican candidates in the general election.

  • Jeff Molby

    Yeah, the candidate descriptions were a tad loaded as well. We shouldn’t waste so much time and energy worrying about polls. We’re making progress; we just need to keep working hard and let the chips fall where they may.

  • Cleaner44

    Freedom is tasty and the people have an appetite for it. This is why Ron Paul is winning. He dominates in Straw Polls, Debate Polls, Web Traffic, Fund Raising and Grass Roots Networking. I have created a website to support this statement.

    Please visit and judge for yourself.

  • steve

    He has won many straw polls by large margins as well and also every post deabte text poll and onlne poll.

    You keep trying to discredit Ron Paul but we aren’t buying it anymore.

    The fact is Ron Paul attracts all voters and the Republican party has shrunk by largs percentages.

    I love the spin you guys keep putting on the success of Ron Paul.

    You guys are going to have to do a better job BECAUSE WE DO NOT BELIEVE YOU ANY MORE.

  • Mark M

    >>the value of a lot of Democratic support seems small.

    Every time I come to this website, I end up reading Doug Mataconis saying something so completely stupid and disconnected that it makes my brain want to jump out of my skull, kill everyone in the room, and then splatter itself on the back wall.

    You know, I don’t need for someone to cheerlead the cause of Liberty for me. I just don’t understand the need for someone on a blog site about Liberty would choose to constantly piss on the cause. Get this goddamned troll out of here…

  • Eric

    Steve, caps doesn’t make your point better. What you have to remember is how the Primaries work. Apparently most folks don’t. Most states do not allow cross over voting in Primary Elections. Without crossover votes, Ron Paul doesn’t look so good. That said, he is improving his support, but still polling fourth. He really has to get double digit numbers in NH, at least. Preferably a third place finish. That makes him a real threat to Giuliani.

    Doug is not trying to discredit Ron Paul, he is trying to be objective about his real chances of winning the GOP nomination.

  • Jeff Molby

    Steve & Cleaner,

    Don’t spam comments sections like that. Everyone here knows about the strawpolls, etc. We’ve heard it all. If you took the time to look, you’d also see that I’m a strong supporter of Dr. Paul. You’ll also see that I’ve taken issue with a number of Doug’s posts.

    But in this particular post, he’s correct. There are serious defects in this poll, which was bought and paid for by a strong support of Paul’s. You lose your intellectual honesty when you pretend the defects don’t exist.

    Please, if you’re going to post make sure your comments are relevant to the editorial. Your offtopic comments make us all look bad.

  • Chris


    I’ve read your Ron Paul articles since the very beginning of this whole deal. From past experience, I also know how this type of writing goes. People give you a lot of crap for some of the negative things you say about Paul, but there are a few out here that try to pay attention to the bigger picture. Flames need air to burn. Hot air, cold air… both serve their purpose. I should note that I’ve only read your Ron Paul articles. You get good Google news rankings for them so I usually don’t have to dig around the site. Nothing you’ve said has ever turned me off to Dr. Paul. I see you as kind of a mechanic, fine tuning messages one post at a time. The Internet is a strange place. BTW, since this site is about liberty, “written by the heirs of Patrick Henry” and you started on the 4th of July, click my name to check a bio about a relative of mine. I’ll be heir to his pistol and Bible. He had quite an interesting life.

  • John Gregory

    So what this actually shows is Republicans no longer really claim to have traditionally Republican small government values.

    Seems a little sad that Democrats are more likely to vote for the most conservative of the blind candidates, doesn’t it?

  • tommy
  • Brian Godley

    True, among core base Republicans Paul is not polling as well. As we now see in recent polls that is shifting. I would wager quite a bit of money that many pundits wouldn’t even peg him at 5 to 6% nationally a few months ago. I believe most in that core base, ever so smaller that it now is, take issue with his stance on the war. However, other candidates trying to rally support are whistling in the wind. War is historically divisive. It transcends being a political issue and is a deal breaker. Too many instances and facts supporting this. A war hawk will lose next general election – THAT IS IT. PERIOD. END OF STORY.

  • TheWhatNow?

    So all these people have left are their inaccurate and mis-representative “polls” of “likely republican primary voters” cling for credibility to. I am having such a good time watching this old insignificant press machine downplay the good doctor, and can’t wait to see what they say come time for the doctor’s big win. Ohhhh, the insignificance…they should go back to covering brittney or some pedophile! Perhaps what I like most is how America is taking its future back and realizing that THE PEOPLE are the bosses of this nation. The tv writers’ strike could not have come at a better time. Get off your couches and get involved for the sake of your country and of your planet. Vote for the good doctor Ron Paul.

  • Eric

    Well, that had to be one of the most unintelligible comments I’ve read recently “TheWhatNow”.

    Jeff Molby, Doug is not opposed to Ron Paul, he is trying to be objective about the reality of the campaign. Over the top optimism that is disconnected from objective reality does no one any good, least of all Dr. Paul.

  • Kevin

    This poll doesn’t tell me anything unless I can see what the blind bios looked like. Also, the poll excluded Mike Huckabee and John McCain, who are both surging in the polls.

    Finally, of interest, I see Alex Jones commissioned the poll.

  • Kevin

    Actually, I found the blind bios, they weren’t that bad. Ron Paul’s may have been a bit loaded, but not that much. Other than the fact that all voters instead of just Republican voters were asked, there wasn’t much wrong with the poll.

  • James Bowery

    Since likely Republican voters are known by polsters to care more about immigration than the war, Zogby’s omission of that issue from the candidates’ position must be taken to mean Zogby doesn’t have the first idea about constructing unbiased blind polls.

    Moreover, the astounding performance of Ron Paul among general voters isn’t at all surprising to those who follow the prediction markets like where people put their money where their mouths are.

    Ron Paul has led the entire GOP pack in the likelihood of being elected president if nominated according to the professional gamblers:

    Now, the question is: Why can’t the RNC think straight about the proper strategy to take for victory in November 2008?

  • Norm Nelson

    Why in the world would leave out this improtant info on their poll knowing that the complete story would come out.

    Oh thats right, they are truthers (prnounced idiots).

  • Tannim

    This poll illustrates a few points.

    1) Either the GOP base is all neocon (not likely) or Dr. Paul still has work to do on the base (true and ongoing). But strong showings in the early states will help.
    2) Dr. Paul can win in the general election if he gets the nomination. The RNC needs to understand this and call off their dogs if they want to actually win something in 2008, since in Congress they’re heading for a good old-fashioned whupping again, 2006 part 2.
    3) The blind bios were all loaded and it was relatively easy to decipher who was who in them. That may have been a factor in the results, hard to say.
    4) Huckabee and McCain were probably not included because they are mainly broke media myths and Jones knows it. Notice that Tancredo and Hunter weren’t in there either. It was Paul, Romney, Thompson, and Guliani only.
    5) It is valid to say both that Guliani won and Paul won. But the better angle is how Paul loses the battle but wins the war, while Guliani wins the battle but loses the war.

  • Jeff Molby

    5) It is valid to say both that Guliani won and Paul won. But the better angle is how Paul loses the battle but wins the war, while Guliani wins the battle but loses the war.

    Good point. It does reinforce the point we’ve made all along that if he somehow manages to win the Primary, he stands a very good chance in November.

  • Mike

    Ron Paul is the greatest candidate in history. His advocacy of individual liberty, of freedom, transcends parties and political labels, and is supported by almost all Americans, and indeed non-Americans.

  • Eric

    Do you realize how over the top that sounds Mike?

  • UCrawford


    Ron Paul is obviously the best candidate in this race, but he’s far from the best candidate in history. He hasn’t got the ability to work the press the way Goldwater did, he isn’t an accomplished public speaker like Reagan, and these ideas he espouses aren’t his. They belong to people like Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, Adam Smith, Milton Friedman, F.A. Hayek, Ludwig Von Mises, John Stuart Mill…

    Frankly, the biggest reason that he’s so attractive in this race to supporters of individual freedom is because of the dearth of other pro-freedom candidates. If someone at the level of Thomas Jefferson, Ronald Reagan or Barry Goldwater were alive today and running for office, I seriously doubt that libertarians would be giving Ron Paul even a cursory glance. He’s a good man, and a decent politican but he’s not a great man, nor is he the greatest politician who ever lived. He’s just the best candidate to vote for in this particular race.

    Also, this whole Cult of Ron Paul thing that all you Paulestinians have cooked up…the doctrine by which you worship the man and not the ideals that he’s espousing. It’s bullshit. It’s indicative of people who are too weak, cowardly and stupid to think for themselves and are looking for a dear leader to tell them how to live their lives. Ron Paul, if elected, will do a lot of things to help people who want the freedom to make their own choices. He will not, however, create a perfect world of unity and peace, he will not solve all of your problems for you, nor is he claiming that he will do so because his issues are not based on messianic fantasy. Get a clue about the reality of things before you go spouting crap like this…it makes you look ridiculous and by extension it makes Ron Paul’s campaign look ridiculous since you claim to be a supporter of his.

  • TerryP

    Well said UC

  • js290

    If someone at the level of Thomas Jefferson, Ronald Reagan or Barry Goldwater were alive today and running for office, I seriously doubt that libertarians would be giving Ron Paul even a cursory glance.

    If said people were running for president, I doubt Paul would be.

  • UCrawford


    I agree…I think that if someone like those three were running Ron Paul would do what he could to support them. I’m generally loathe to trust politicians, but Paul seems like somebody dedicated more to the principles than the power of the office so I think that if there were a better candidate out there who intended to follow through on a pro-freedom agenda Ron Paul would do what he could to help them.

    But he’s certainly no messiah…and I should know, I’ve followed a few :)

  • Brad Warbiany

    UC & JS,

    I think if someone like Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, Adam Smith, Friedman, Hayek, von Mises, Mill, etc. were running today, they’d be labeled a “right-wing extremist” and marginalized as if they were lepers.

    After all, they’re idea men. Politics today is a popularity contest, and there’s nothing more popular than promising people something for nothing.

  • Jeff Molby

    Politics today is a popularity contest, and there’s nothing more popular than promising people something for nothing.

    Telling someone what they expect to hear is a close second. It’s an almost perfect form of flattery to state as fact something the listener already believes to be true. It lets the listener congratulate himself for being so smart.

    That is Paul’s biggest obstacle. The popularity thing is already starting to swing toward his favor, but he can’t win unless he convinces a lot of stubborn people to set aside their preconceived notions for a few minutes.

  • Jeff Molby


    Doug is not opposed to Ron Paul, he is trying to be objective about the reality of the campaign.

    No, he’s not. He’s playing devil’s advocate. He’s trying to temper the exuberance of most supporters and by doing so, he ends up primarily trumpeting negative (non-)stories.

    Paul knows about the “unsavory” supporters. We know about them. Doug knows about them. We know Doug knows about them. There is no productive value in an endless echo of such posts.

    The campaign has flatly repudiated the ideas that those groups stand for, but they made it very clear that they’re not going to spend good money instituting a vetting process.

    Maybe Doug has a compulsive need to write about this subject. I suggest, however, that if he truly supports Dr. Paul, he should write them in a private journal. Publishing such thoughts ad nauseum is absolutely self-defeating.

    Over the top optimism that is disconnected from objective reality does no one any good, least of all Dr. Paul.

    I challenge you to find any of my comments that are “over the top”. I am very optimistic, but my comments are also very measured. I realize there are a lot of potential pitfalls.

  • UCrawford


    Politics has always been a popularity contest…it’s just that for awhile now the pro-freedom candidates have been either non-existent, really unlikeable, or crazy…hence, unpopular. Reagan (a very likeable personality) won on a pro-freedom platform, however, and did some good things. Goldwater (who also had a lot of charisma) lost his election but ended up changing the direction of the GOP. There’s nothing wrong with a candidate who runs on radical ideas about individual freedom, it’s just a matter of finding the pro-freedom candidate who has enough charisma to both sell those ideas to the public and get the public to like him enough to vote for him. When you don’t have a candidate who possesses both those qualities, then of course nobody’s going to vote for him…they’re going to vote for the likeable guy promising to give them stuff. Like I said, Ron Paul’s not the perfect pro-freedom candidate and he’s got his weaknesses, but he’s also been the best that we’ve had for quite awhile, he’s been improving on the PR/communication side of things and there’s still a decent chance he could end up surprising everybody in this election.