Yesterday we took a look at that new NBC News / Marist poll out of New Hampshire and Iowa which had the cable news talking heads all excited for a few hours. It was a pretty good poll as these things go and certainly contained plenty of information relevant to the current state of the race heading into the next GOP debate. But having had a while to ponder the findings I noticed something odd. They’re polling pretty much the entire relevant field in both parties when it comes to the primary battles, but when they go to the hypothetical matchups for the general election, isn’t there somebody missing?
Just as a reminder, they put up the allegedly full results on scribd.com for Iowa and New Hampshire. As you’ll see toward the end of the questionnaire they matched up Hillary Clinton and her chief contender, Bernie Sanders. Those are natural choices, of course. (They tossed in Biden as a wild card in some spots since he’s drawing a lot of headlines this month.) And they put them against Trump which is also a no brainer since he’s the frontrunner pretty much everywhere. But where is the matchup between Hillary and Ben Carson? Or any Democrat and Carson for that matter? The guy is in a virtual tie with Trump in Iowa in some polls (22% in this one) and ranks very high among the rest of the field in New Hampshire.
Instead, they skipped several slots in the Iowa GOP standings and pitted Clinton against… Jeb Bush? You skipped the guy raking in 22% of the support to go with the guy polling at 6%, folks. What’s up with that? And to top it off, instead of going with Bernie Sanders, you next put Trump and Bush against Joe Biden who isn’t even in the race.
Granted, it’s possible that they did ask the question and just didn’t publish every single result they tallied, but that seems unlikely. And even if it were the case, isn’t that even more insulting to gather the data and then just not bother releasing it? A call placed to Marist to ask about this issue was not returned.
Making it seem all the more odd is that there actually was a recent poll which asked about Carson in the general election. Granted, it’s from PPP and their results unsurprisingly have Hillary Clinton doing a bit better than any of the other big name surveys, but it still sheds some light on the state of affairs. (Washington Times)
Retired neurosurgeon and GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson is tied in a head-to-head matchup with Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton and fares better against the former secretary of state than do other Republican presidential candidates, according to a survey released Thursday.
Mr. Carson and Mrs. Clinton were tied at 44 percent apiece, according to the survey from the Democratic-leaning firm Public Policy Polling, and Mr. Carson had an 8-point, 43 percent to 35 percent advantage over Mrs. Clinton among independents.
The PPP poll can be reviewed here.
I suppose that leaves the obvious exit question. Marist isn’t the only one doing this. I know we’re supposed to be fed the idea that Bush is somehow still inevitable and all, but the guy is getting absolutely crushed by Carson in some fairly key locations. Might it not be worth tossing Carson into the general election mix and, if not, what’s the reason for excluding him?