Today we introduce a new feature to your favorite site on politics: The Political Derby Composite Poll. This tool takes the most recent major polls and weights their results based on poll age, sample type, and margin of error. Unlike other poll compilations, this is not a simple average that one skewed poll can unduly influence, rather it is a proprietary mathematical formula that derives the percentage of voters favoring each candidate, recalculated on a daily basis as polls age.

The polls that make up the PD Composite are well-known reputable national polls who sample “likely primary voters” and “registered voters” including, but not limited to: NBC News/Wall Street Journal, Pew Research, Quinnipiac University, ABC News/Washington Post, and Rasmussen Reports.

The PD Composite will be updated in a regular post that will run at least weekly, or more often if new polling data changes results significantly. This feature will also always be available at the “Composite Poll” link at the top of the page. Going forward, the Composite Poll will also be a significant factor in determining the Power Rankings.

Now that explanations are out of the way, let’s get to the Political Derby Composite Poll standings:

Note: Click the graph to enlarge.

For simplicity’s sake, we are only showing the Composite results back to September 1, when Rick Perry was surging. From there, you can see his decline. You can also see Herman Cain’s huge increase in popularity that coincided with Perry’s late September plummet, until they converged before continuing in opposite directions. Mitt Romney has been consistent, if not seeing a slight increase in popularity, as he runs a general election campaign throughout the primary. But the trend line that may be most worth watching is that of Newt Gingrich. Newt is the only person out of the bottom of the pack since Cain that has managed to distinguish himself through the debates and pull out of a flat-line trend. We could very well see him surpassing Rick Perry before the end of the year, becoming a top three contender.

Going forward, we hope you will enjoy this additional data-driven approach to evaluating the horse race here on