Posted on | January 20, 2011 | 54 Comments
At MSNBC, Chuck Todd is doing cartwheels in his Team Obama cheerleader skirt over a poll showing a spike in the president’s approval. What ought to have Republicans calling the suicide hotline is the poll’s numbers showing Mike Huckabee ahead of the GOP 2012 pack:
Looking ahead to the 2012 presidential race, the NBC/WSJ poll shows Obama leading Mike Huckabee by 10 points (51%-41%) and Newt Gingrich by 19 points (54%-35%). The December poll had him leading Mitt Romney by seven (47%-40%) and Sarah Palin by 22 (55%-33%). But keep in mind: At this stage of the 1996 cycle, McInturff says, Bob Dole was leading Bill Clinton in the NBC/WSJ poll. That tells us one of two things: Either these polls aren’t that reliable this far out, or that Obama enters the 2012 in a much stronger position than Clinton did in ’96. For the first time, our poll also handicapped the ’12 GOP field. Leading the pack are Romney (the first choice of 19% of Republicans and independents) and Huckabee (18%) — followed by Palin (14%), Gingrich (10%), Ron Paul (8%), and Tim Pawlenty (at 5%). We also asked “second choice,” and if you take Palin out, the person who benefits the most is Huckabee. He would lead a Palin-less GOP primary, not Romney.
Before you swallow that bottle of sleeping pills, slash your wrists and stick your head in the oven, however, let me remind you that these are nationwide numbers, that the poll’s methodology looks screwy — Da Tech Guy thinks the sample is not exacfly random — and that the results of the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary will not be determined by such craptastic media trickery. Actual people have to cast actual votes, and the Iowa caucuses are still a year away.
P.S.: Apologies for the mental image of Chuck Todd doing cartwheels in a cheerleader skirt.