A Look Underneath The Straw Poll
by Chris Bowers, Sat Feb 04, 2006 at 07:57:16 AM EST
In truth, the MyDD Straw polls just can't compete with the Dailykos straw polls. Typically, we haul in around 2-3,000 votes over the course of a week, while the Dailykos polls bring in around 11-12,000 votes over the course of a day. This makes the Dailykos polls significantly more immune to poll stuffing, as stuffers have less time to alert their email lists and / or repeatedly change their IP addresses / cookies so that they can personally stuff a poll. By way of contrast, I'm pretty sure that there are at least three major poll stuffing groups on MyDD. Interestingly, I think they show up at different times: Feingold stuffers come first, then the Clark stuffers show up, and near the end Edwards stuffers take over. I've seen this pattern operate like clockwork since at least September.
While the Dailykos straw polls probably have a more accurate finger on the pulse of the netroots than the MyDD polls, one advantage we have at MyDD is that our polls are done via Instant Runoff. This allows MyDD polls to give a deeper sense of netroots support beyond just who is the current favorite. I spent this morning looking over the results of the last four MyDD straw polls trying to see if the lower portions of people's ballots held any surprises or indications of future trends.
For starters, here are the second-choices for supporters of various candidates:
- Vilsack did not have enough votes for any trends to appear.
- Biden supporters clearly turn to Clark as a second choice. Of the 111 votes for Biden over the past four months, Clark scoops up 27% of the second place choices. This places him well ahead of Edwards, who gets 16.2%, and also ahead of Warner, who comes in third with 11.7%. If Biden were to fade, or even drop out, online Clark would probably be the largest beneficiary.
- Bayh supporters absolutely love Warner. Of the 141 votes for Bayh since November, Warner receives 35.5% of the second place votes. That is more than twice as much as Feingold, who comes in a distant second at 17.0%. Edwards rounds out the top three with 13.5%. For some reason, Clark comes in almost dead last among Bayh supporters, with only 4.3% of the second place votes.
- Kerry supporters love John Edwards, although I guess that isn't a surprise. Party like its 2004! Of the 332 votes Kerry received since November, Edwards received 30.1% of the second place votes. Feingold is again a distant second with 16.8%. Kerry supporters also need a swift kick in the pants, since "none of these" comes in third with 14.8%. Wake up Kerry supporters. The entire party supported your guy last time around. If he doesn't win this time, you better be willing to return the favor.
- Richardson supporters like Warner. It's a Governor thing, baby. Of the 441 votes Richardson has received since November, Warner is the second choice of 31.3%. Feingold again comes in second at 22.0%. Clark rounds out the top three at 17.0%.
- Clinton supporters are torn three ways between Warner, Edwards and Clark. Of the 470 votes Clinton received since November, Warner got 114 second place votes (22.8%), Edwards scored 113 (22.4%), and Clark got 109 (21.3%). Feingold was well behind with 64, or 13.6%. So, on the off-chance that Clinton drops out of the race early, her support will go to Anyone But Feingold.
- Unsure"supporters" are, well, unsure. The 527 votes that have gone to unsure since November divide up almost perfectly evenly between Feingold, Clark, Warner and Edwards.
- Edwards supporters narrowly prefer Feingold over Clark and Warner. Of the 1,603 votes Edwards has received since November, Feingold gets 567 and Clark gets 545. Removing November form the equation, when Warner finished in fourth behind Edwards, the breakdown was 386 for Feingold, 329 for Clark, and 305 for Warner.
- Warner supporters narrowly prefer Clark over Feingold. Of the 2,143 votes Warner has received since November, Clark has grabbed 956, and Feingold has managed 898. Removing November form the totals, when Warner finished in fourth behind Edwards, Clark has pulled in 846 of Edwards votes, and Feingold has pulled in 838. So, since December, Warner supporters have actually been evenly split between Clark and Feingold.
609 votes, or 6.1% of the electorate, have indicated that they would not vote for either of these two candidates. I'm glad that number is low, and I imagine that if it actually came time to choose between the Republican nominee and either Clark or Feingold, that number would drop much further. I mean, in 2004, when it came down to Kerry vs. Edwards, I honestly didn't care. I just knew I would vote for whoever won.
Overall, I think this look into the second choice ballots tells me that Warner has a lot of room to grow. He is the clear second choice of Bayh and Richardson supporters, is narrowly the second-place choice of Clinton and "unsure" supporters, and also does disproportionately well among Edwards supporters. In fact, Warner actually receives a higher percentage of second-place votes among supporters of every candidate (except Kerry and Biden) than he receives first-place votes among the entire electorate. If he is creeping up as a strong second-choice candidate of that many people, there may come a time not long from now when he enters the Feingold-Clark tier of online support. This isn't to say that Feingold, Clark and Edwards are not the second-choice of many, just that Warner has a strong position in second place right now. Perhaps, as kos and Jerome believe, Warner is indeed the candidate to watch.
Vote in the MyDD February Straw Poll