Thursday, July 19, 2007

Giuliani Campaign's Analysis of Recent Trends

(Ed. Note: Brent Seaborn, Director of Strategy for the Giuliani campaign, offers the following response to my recent post on the trend in support for Giuliani.)

By Brent Seaborn
Director of Strategy

Rudy Giuliani Presidential Committee

Despite assertions to the contrary on this site, the Giuliani campaign is in a very strong position at this point and is clearly best-positioned to win the primary. Let me point out a few differences between the McCain and Giuliani trend line:

  • When Mayor Giuliani first announced his candidacy for president, he received a considerable bounce in the polls. We anticipated that the race would close after our initial bounce – in memos written on March 22 and June 22. I wrote, at the time, we should expect polls to tighten, as they have.
  • As the race developed early in the spring, the race quickly but briefly, developed in to a two-way race, and our initial bounce extended into the beginning of this two-way race. The two-way race divided most of the Republican primary vote between 2 major candidates – the nature of a two-way race generally forces undecided or leaning voters to make a choice between the leading candidates and many broke our way.
  • As McCain’s trend line declined Mitt Romney’s slowly rose and Fred Thompson entered the race. Senator McCain is still a candidate for President and continues to receive a substantial vote share.
  • Fred Thompson now seems to be the beneficiary of an announcement (or pre-announcement) bounce. And Fred Thompson’s entry to the campaign has effectively made this now a four-way race.
  • After months as the frontrunner and the addition of a fourth candidate to the GOP primary it is notable that we are in roughly the same spot we were in before our bounce and when this was still a three-way race. In a four-way (or as your graph suggests a five-way race), a trend line from the first of the year until now, excluding our “announcement” bounce, is virtually flat.
  • I also note this paragraph:

“Are there any bright spots for Giuliani, other than money? Yes. There is a hint in the data that his decline may have slowed and support stabilized in the last month. In the first plot above, the blue line is my standard trend estimator which is rarely mislead by "blips" in the polls, but which is also a bit slow to be convinced that a change of trend has occurred. The red line in the plots is my more sensitive estimator-- quicker to notice a change, but also more easily fooled by "changes" that turn out to be phantoms. The red estimator has flattened out recently for Giuliani, and currently sees relative stability at about 26%. The blue estimator instead sees continued decline and a current level just under 25%. If the red estimator is right (and it often isn't) then perhaps the worst days of declining support are now behind Giuliani, at least nationally. If so, his campaign can try to get the trend moving up instead of down, but at least the decline has stopped. Unlike McCain, Giuliani has the money to try to make the numbers turn up.”

I believe this is more than a blip. The red trend line will begin to pull the blue line up to meet it. In fact, if one looks at major media polls over the last month most of them show Rudy Giuliani receiving 30% or more of the GOP primary vote. In fact the mean of the major media polls over the last month is 29%

Newsweek 6/20-6/21: RWG 27%

CNN 6/22-6/24: RWG 30%

FOX 6/26-6/27: RWG 29%

CBS 6/26-6/28: RWG 34%

USA Today/Gallup 7/6-7/8: RWG 30%

AP 7/9-7/11: RWG 21%

Gallup 7/12-7/15: RWG 33%

FOX 7/17-6/18: RWG 27%

Major media polls actually show Rudy Giuliani ahead of even the red tend line. And I would add that the red trend line, at this point in the race, disproportionately accounts for the Rasmussen Polls that by their regularity are a drag on Mayor Giuliani’s trend line.

Overall, we are very pleased with our performance in national polls. We are aware we will continue to face challenges and the race will likely continue to close. But we believe we have a real and solid base of support and we will remain competitive as this race evolves.