The final PD Composite is largely driven by the 18 polls released over the past seven days. Of those polls, President Obama leads four, Governor Romney leads six, and eight are tied. All but three are within the margin of error, or a statistical tie, and of the three that aren’t, Obama leads in two and Romney in one and in each the lead is by one point or less outside the margin of error. In other words, all polls show the popular vote is a dead heat.


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As we have now entered a two-horse race, the 2012 Republican Primary PD Composite has been retired. However, this means it is time to release the initial Obama v. Romney Composite Poll. The Composite will continue to be updated daily at the link on the page banner. We will also include posts that coincide with issues which cause significant shifts in the data.

With the exception of a couple of short blips, Barack Obama has led the PD Composite since the beginning of 2012 until April 12, two days after Rick Santorum announced he was suspending his campaign. Presumably, Republican voters who preferred a candidate other than Mitt Romney fell into the undecided or selected President Obama when polled prior to Santorum’s announcement. However, as this polling bias has been essentially eliminated, combined with what is likely new momentum as the presumptive nominee, Romney leads in six of the most recent ten polls, tying the President in a seventh.

Much will change over the next six months, as ridiculous arguments on who let a dog ride on a car, who ate dog meat, who likes women the most, and serious arguments on actual policy and vision for our country will shape the minds and hearts of voters. During these expected tumultuous days and weeks, the Obama v. Romney Composite Poll will show you what Americans are thinking.

Note: As Rick Santorum has dropped out of the race for the Republican nomination, Mitt Romney is the presumptive nominee. As such, this is the final update to the Republican Primary nationwide PD Composite. The Obama v. Romney Composite will now take its place on the page banner.

You can view all previous Republican Primary national and closely contested state PD Composites by following this link.

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The Political Derby Composite is a tool that takes the most recent major polls and weighs their results based on poll age, momentum from poll to poll, sample type, and margin of error each day using a proprietary formula. Unlike other poll compilations, this is not a simple average. Rather, it is a data-driven tool that measures voter sentiment on a daily basis. The polls that make up the PD Composite are well-known reputable national polls who sample “likely primary voters” and “registered voters”, as opposed to only “adults, including, but not limited to: NBC News/Wall Street Journal, Pew Research, and Rasmussen Reports. The Composite Poll is a significant factor in determining the Power Rankings.

The PD Composite is updated daily, or as new data becomes available. The PDC will also be featured in semi-regular posts that coincide with significant data shifts. If you would like to comment on the most recent version navigate over to the post page.

Source polls for the PD Composite: ABC News/Washington Post, Bloomberg, CBS News/NY Times, FOX News, McClatchy/Marist College, NBC News/Wall Street Journal, Pew Research, Public Policy Polling, Quinnipiac University, Rasmussen Reports, USA Today/Gallup

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Mitt Romney has started to pull away from the pack again in the PD Composite on the strength of his victories in the three contests earlier this week. This momentum will likely carry him to a victory in Washington, where is he polling ahead of Rick Santorum. Four consecutive victories will position Romney very strongly going in to Super Tuesday.

Santorum is losing ground rapidly while Gingrich and Paul aren’t seeing any movement of note. Gingrich will likely have a solid victory in Georgia that he will try to spin into something more than it is, however he has little hope of winning the nomination at this point and only remains in the race to satisfy his hubris.

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The final Michigan PD Composite Poll shows no conclusive leader as Romney is ahead by less that 1 point based on the effects on the Composite of polls released late yesterday. Whomever earns the votes of last-to-decide Michiganders seems likely to end up the victor.

Also, use this thread to predict the winners and percentages for both Michigan and Arizona. If anyone nails the top four and percentages to the nearest whole number for both states, Jason will send you a book from his personal stash. Tie breakers will be determined by tenths of percentages. Your entry comment must be time stamped by 5 pm EST.

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Mitt Romney has now led Michigan in four consecutive polls. However, Rick Santorum is within the margin of error in three of the four, leading to today’s Michigan Composite showing Romney with a slim 2.4 percent lead.

A win by Romney in Michigan combined with his expected blowout in Arizona would likely give him considerable momentum going into Super Tuesday, potentially securing the nomination. However, a Santorum win in Michigan combined with a Romney win in Arizona would likely drive this race to continue in its current state, perhaps all the way to the convention, without a clear leader.

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With sufficient data for building the Composite going back only to the first of February, we don’t have as significant of trends to follow for the Michigan Composite. However, there is clear movement over the past 10 days, with Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney moving in opposite directions.

In what is likely our first indication of voter sentiment since the last debate, Romney has retaken the lead at the time when it matters most, and appears to be surging. With leads of 3 points and 6 points in the Mitchell/Rosetta Stone and Rasmussen Reports polls conducted yesterday, Romney is likely to be victorious in what has become a must-win contest for his candidacy.

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For the first time in its history, Rick Santorum leads the Political Derby Composite Poll.

Santorum has differentiated himself through his social conservative views in a race where most analysts thought the economy was the only issue.

Meanwhile, Newt Gingrich has been left for dead, as his complete lack of campaign structure beyond Florida has been exposed. Santorum is taking voters from the former Speaker.

Mitt Romney has also lost points to Santorum in recent polls. Now, the race most thought only a few weeks ago to be a knock-down drag-out fight between Gingrich and Romney is Santorum and Romney, at least until Super Tuesday sorts things out.

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Much has changed since our last PD Composite post on Friday. As suggested then, we had not seen the full impact of Rick Santorum’s sweep of non-binding Colorado, Missouri, and Minnesota. In the three polls released since the last PD Composite, Santorum is surging, putting him in a virtual tie with Mitt Romney. At the same time, Newt Gingrich’s time is likely up.

However, in this race of extreme volatility, it may be Romney who snatches back a certain amount of momentum in the coming polls due to his win in Maine and symbolic victory at the CPAC straw poll. Meanwhile, Ron Paul needed a win in Maine more than any of the other candidates, if only for survival at this point in the race. But, in reality, Dr. Paul has never broken 17 percent in the PD Composite, has no momentum, is now trending downward in most polls, and is unlikely to be competitive again.

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Mitt Romney’s polling has remained relatively steady since his decisive Florida victory. However, we may not have yet seen the full impact in the polls of Rick Santorum’s sweep of the non-binding primaries. His performance has been inching upward, but Santorum has not experienced the shock of sudden popularity that the other anyone but Romney (ABR) candidates have. Looking at the trend chart to the left, you can see back to the first of September when Rick Perry was at his peak of national popularity. Then there was the momentary rise of Herman Cain, followed by the first, and more significant, Newt Gingrich surge. Rick Santorum’s initial national rise came out of his win in Iowa, though he never reached the levels of popularity gained by his three predecessors.

Corresponding with Santorum’s slow rise is Gingrich’s second demise. Once again, there may be a split in voters between the former two candidates that continues to favor Romney, especially if Santorum does not experience the sharp rise in popularity the other ABR candidates have. Assuming either Gingrich or Santorum were to drop out today, their combined PD Composite score is only 3.6 percent ahead of Romney. Therefore, to overtake Romney, the remaining candidate would have to garner nearly all of the the other candidate’s support, hoping none moves to Romney.

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Since Newt Gingrich’s most recent peak in national popularity, driven by his big South Carolina win, he has been on a slow decline in the polls. At the same time, Mitt Romney has seen a slow increase in this numbers, giving him the benefit of momentum. Expect Romney to receive a significant bump in his national poll numbers after his decisive victory in Florida. What isn’t known is if the expected increase for Romney will come only from Gingrich supporters or also from Rick Santorum’s followers. However, it is rather unlikely many, if any, Ron Paul supporters will defect to another candidate unless Paul drops out entirely due to their utmost loyalty to the good doctor.

At some point the donors who are funding the under performing campaigns, especially that of Santorum, will determine there is no ROI, that they are throwing their money away. Since Santorum does not seem inclined to leave the race anytime soon, it appears that eventually having no budget will force him out. The same will may well apply to Gingrich, despite his insistence of going all the way to the convention, though it will be a longer horizon for his money to dry up.

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The final Florida Composite Poll shows Mitt Romney’s lead continuing to grow, now up by nearly 12 points, while Newt Gingrich is sinking again. Coming out of Florida, Romney will again have significant momentum with likely wins ahead in Nevada and Maine.

At the same time, the Gingrich campaign will likely struggle to find the cash to compete, as it drained significant portions in Florida and will likely see further reductions in contributions correlating with his declining momentum. But he has vowed to continue on so we will likely not be spared from the brutal tactics from both his camp and the Romney camp for quite awhile.

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Over the past five days, Mitt Romney’s numbers have shown significant movement in Florida, certainly enough to consider it a solid trend. Romney has now led in the past nine consecutive polls. Barring unforeseen revelation, we are no longer wondering if Romney will take Florida, but by how much.

Newt Gingrich is still polling ahead of Romney nationally and leading the National PD Composite. The impact of a Romney victory on Gingrich’s national poll numbers will be the story by the end of the week, whether Gingrich’s popularity remains at its current levels or if momentum carries Romney back into the national lead.


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Edit: The Rasmussen Florida poll released this morning has very little impact on this data, as it confirms the most recent results.

The Florida Composite poll shows a dead heat between Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich. As the debates are clearly having a significant sway on the undecided voters, look for significant movement in polls released within two days of tonight’s contest.

Rick Santorum appears to be bottoming out. If he finished fourth to Ron Paul, there seems to be no reason why he should continue. Certainly, what little contribution money he has coming in will dry up faster than the pet rock went out of style.

Ron Paul chugs on. But it won’t do him much good in Florida, as it is a winner take all state, so he is focusing on the next caucus contests in Nevada and Maine where the delegates are awarded by proportion of the vote.

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The initial Florida Political Derby Composite release mirrors the volatility of the Republican race. It is exaggerated by very few polls haven been taken in Florida prior to early January.

Rick Santorum’s jump in popularity from his Iowa performance is clear. Prior to Iowa, he polled consistently around 1% in the Sunshine state. Mitt Romney’s popularity grew consistently from the beginning of December, until the South Carolina blowout brought Newt Gingrich back from the dead.

Gingrich is beating Romney in the last three polls taken by an average of 7 points, a dramatic shift after falling behind Romney by an average of 19 points in every prior January poll.

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Newt Gingrich is the candidate with momentum today. On the strength of his widely agreed-upon debate win on Tuesday, Gingrich has surpassed Mitt Romney in two of the three polls major over the past two days:

Politico: Romney 37%, Gingrich 30%
Insider Advantage: Gingrich 32%, Romney 29%
Rasmussen: Gingrich 33%, Romney 31%

The only thing keeping Gingrich behind Romney in the South Carolina Composite right now is his average 10 point deficit spread versus the former Governor in the other six polls taken over the previous week.

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It seems the negative attacks perceived by many as leftist and anti-capitalist from candidates considered conservative–Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry–have backfired tremendously as Mitt Romney’s lead has grown in South Carolina.

In successive polls completed over the past five days, Romney has led each one with 28% (1/12, Rasmussen), 29% (1/13, PPP), 33% (1/15, Monmouth), and 32% (1/15, Insider Advantage). Further, the gap between Romney and Gingrich has moved significantly (in the same poll order) 7, 5, 11, 11 points.

Romney has the momentum while Gingrich, Rick Santorum, and Rick Perry likely do not have enough time to change South Carolina strategy. The damage may be done and the Republican nominee will be chosen.

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The two most recent polls in South Carolina have agreed. Mitt Romney is clearly ahead of Newt Gingrich, as his lead exceeds the margin of error in both the Rasmussen and Public Policy polls.

Looking back at the trend chart to the left, you can see a distinct change beginning with the January 6th Composite, immediately following an Iowa Caucus that produced a surprisingly good showing by Rick Santorum, an awful result by Newt Gingrich, and a win by Romney after virtually ignoring the state.

Another shift is clear beginning January 12, as Santorum’s momentum was nearly decimated in New Hampshire and Ron Paul finish in a solid second. Paul seemingly took some fringe Santorum supporters in South Carolina.

Today it appears there are three races in the Palmetto State. Romney and Gingrich for first, Santorum and Paul for third, and Rick Perry and Jon Huntsman for who drops out first. Based on the current PD Composite, a Romney win in this heavily evangelical state seems surprisingly probable.

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On the strength of the latest Rasmussen poll, Ron Paul has made the most significant move in the updated South Carolina Composite Poll. Paul’s 3.6 point rise came largely at the expense of Rick Santorum, whose poll numbers are plummeting.

After a high showing of 24 percent in a January 5 Rasmussen poll, Santorum has polled at 19, 14, and 16 percent in PPP (1/7), Insider Advantage (1/11), and Rasmussen (1/12) polls, with the latter two polls completed over the past two days.
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