Donald Trump

Yes, Donald Trump Is Still Ahead in the Polls, But It's Not Time to Panic Yet

Voters won't really start paying attention until January.

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The latest national poll from CNN and ORC is out, and "Donald Trump is once again alone at the top of the Republican field," writes Jennifer Agiesta. The betting market signal aggregator ElectionBettingOdds.com puts his chances of winning the GOP nomination at about 21 percent.

But all the election observers who get a cold shiver of terror at the thought of a President Trump should take heart. As I've been saying for months and months, the real estate magnate and reality TV star isn't going to win the Republican nomination.

What about the polling? As Bloomberg View's Jonathan Bernstein likes to say, ignore the polling. It tells us virtually nothing this far out.

In the last two election cycles, the folks at FiveThirtyEight have noted, Google searches for the Republican primary as a topic didn't spike until January. See for yourself here:

Google Trends

A study by RealClearPolitics' David Byler further discovered that the polls in the last two cycles didn't even really begin to get predictive until about two weeks after Thanksgiving. That would be six days from now.

And the Iowa caucuses this time around are scheduled for even later in the year—early February instead of early January as they were in '08 and '12. This means we're still nearly two months away from the very first votes being cast.

On top of all that, the pre-election surveys have been off for virtually every major race in the last three years, a phenomenon I detail (and attempt to explain) in the next issue of Reason, which will be out in just a couple of weeks. 

So yes, Donald Trump is ahead in the national polls. But there is little reason to assume from that fact that he has much of any chance of actually nabbing the nomination. As good as his numbers have been these past five months, the election betting odds site I mentioned earlier doesn't even see him as the most likely eventual victor. That honor goes to Florida Sen. Marco Rubio at nearly 38 percent.

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  1. If you think about it, Donald Trump is just like Adam Lanza.

    1. Brain dead and he fucked up a bunch of people’s day?

      I’m on board.

      1. He meant bad hair.

        1. Oh – well then he’s WAY worse than Adam Lanza.

  2. Polls are bullshit?!? This is a revelation!!!

    1. Not so fast…
      What do the millennials think about polls?

      1. What do millennials think of “The Case for Voting Libertarian”?
        My vote packs 10 times more law-repealing wallop than a vote for any of the looter parties. If elections were verifiable instead of rigged, we’d have several libertarians in both Houses by now.

  3. Trump is the only one brave enough to speak for the retards!

    1. I prefer to be referred to as “handicapped”, very much.

      /Jimmy Vollmer

      1. I wouldn’t say you were retarded, per se. More like just a little slow on the uptake. And you put things up your butt you really shouldn’t.

        1. Have you been in my ass again and I didn’t know it? How does that happen?

          *thinks about ‘slow on the uptake’*

          Never mind…

      2. “Look, my gang – which I can’t talk about because it’s super secret – is the most important thing to me now. And if you two don’t like it, you can just pass the blunt to the nigga on your left. “

        1. any southpark fans who havent played Stick of Truth yet: get on it.

          the cutscenes with Jimmy are classic, and just the tip of the comedy iceberg.

          1. What the fuck…it’s still $30 on Steam?!?

            1. It was just on sale for cheap. I was going to pick it up, but guess I dithered too long.

              1. Next sale starts the 22nd I think, and I think you can probably get it for around $8 if the sale is like last time.

            2. I’m pretty sure they have another sale for Christmas/New Year, and it will be like $7 again then. I actually think I picked it up last new year… still only played a couple hours of it though.

    2. Sanders is giving him a run for his money.
      A different breed of retards, however. Educated retards?

  4. BTW, NPR accidentally discovered that money doesn’t buy elections last night.

    MCKINNON: There’s just very little return on media dollars anymore in politics because people just don’t believe political advertising. They’re just demanding authenticity and something that they think is real, and they know that advertising is not real. So those are – you might as well just burn that money. It’d be a better investment.

    SIEGEL: In his case, it’s almost $30 million that you’re saying has been burned.

    MCKINNON: It is, and as you noted in that report, Trump has spent almost nothing. In fact, he spent zero dollars on television.

    http://www.npr.org/2015/12/02/…..ne-message

    1. Yeah, well, just imagine how much more influence he’ll be able to buy when he finally uncinches that humongous change purse.

      1. humongous change purse

        I’ve gotten a few compliments on it but it’s not that special.

    2. So now is the time to pass common-sense legislation banning money in elections! Cause it doesn’t matter, so….no one will even notice!

      /derp

    3. And it’s not authenticity people demand, whatever that even means, it’s spectacle. If the braindead Trumpkins wanted authenticity they’d take seriously the rather flagrant contradictions in Trump’s ideology. They’d want to know why a former pro-choice, pro-immigration, pro-single payer Democratic funder with massive cronyism problems spontaneously turned on his heel almost in front of the cameras to be the ur-conservative GOP candidate. But the Trumpkins don’t care, they want to pretend they’re finally being catered to. Morons.

      1. YOU JUST DON’T UNDERSTAND BECAUSE YOU’RE A LOSER! I WAS TALKING TO SOMEONE THE OTHER DAY – SOMEONE VERY CLOSE TO BOTH THE DEMOCRATS AND THE REPLUBICANS – AND HE’S A WONDERFUL PERSON, YOU KNOW. AND HE TOLD ME THAT BOTH PARTIES ARE SCARED OF ME BECAUSE I’M SO AUTHENTIC. LIKE THEY’VE NEVER SEEN AUTHENTIC BEFORE, AND NOW HERE I AM. IT’S BEAUTIFUL, REALLY.

        PEOPLE JUST RECOGNIZE MY ABILITY TO NEGOTIATE – LIKE THOSE JEWS I SPOKE TO YESTERDAY. THEY UNDERSTAND. BECAUSE WE’RE BOTH NEGOTIATORS.

        AND THAT’S WHAT BOTH PARTIES ARE AFRAID OF. THAT I AM THAT AUTHENTIC. IT’S PATHETIC, REALLY.

        /Trump Voice

        1. Jesus. Almost sounds like an actual quote…

          1. Ok, Markov-Chain Mavens! Online Donald Trump Quote Generator…get to work!

            1. THAT WOULD BE ‘UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGE

          2. AND YOU KNOW, I REALLY WANT TO THANK DEATFBIRSECIA FOR SUPPORTING ME, HE’S JUST WONDERFUL, YOU KNOW. IT’S REALLY GREAT. AND THAT’S WHAT BEING A GREAT NEGOTIATOR DOES – IT DRAWS WINNERS TO YOU, WHO SUPPORT YOU. YOU KNOW, I’VE MADE SO MANY DEALS, AND IT’S PEOPLE LIKE DEATFBIRSECIA WHO ARE PROVIDING SUPPORT, AND MAKING MY CAMPAIGN WHAT IT IS. IT’S REALLY SPECTACULARLY SUCCESSFUL, AND IT’S BECAUSE THESE PEOPLE RECOGNIZE REAL LEADERSHIP AND WINNERS, AND THEY’RE NATURALLY DRAWN TO IT. AND I THANK THEM FOR THAT.

            1. /Trump Voice

              1. I suppose all candidates should be slick talkers, because they have such a wonderful history of governing this country.

      2. But…the morons ARE being catered to…

      3. If he’s changed his mind from the opposite of what they wanted to what they want, then they are being catered to, are they not?

    4. ” discovered that money doesn’t buy elections”

      Let’s wait until an election has been held.

      1. Oh, I see. If someone you don’t like is elected, that means money bought the election, right, Tru Guy?

        1. “that means money bought the election”

          What election? I’m only seeing opinion polls here. Do you believe that Trump has been elected to anything? Read the article again.

  5. as an Iowan, I think I might actually go to the caucuses and see exactly who from community is showing up for Donald trump. it would be a down ticket gift from heaven to the dems if trump is nominee

    1. Since when do the Russians get to vote for US president?

      1. Russians don’t but I’ve heard they allow Georgians!

        1. same diff

        2. something something Caucasians.

          1. RAAAAAAAAAAACIST!

  6. But will he run 3rd party to throw the election to the Democrats?

  7. Trick’s on you, I’ve been panicking nonstop since March.

  8. Except every time there is a mass shooting his numbers go up. Some one is paying attention.

    1. So, an ISIS plot to get Trump elected so Trump will send troops to Syria where thousands of ISIS soldiers will be slaughtered, bring about the return of Jesus. I forget what happens after that.

      1. 4) PROFIT!

        1. +nice

      2. Mohammad and Jesus both come back.
        Mohammad calls Jesus a pussy and kills him.
        Mohammad leads the faithful to victory against the forces of darkness.
        Islam rules the world for 1000 years.

        1. *pulls out notepad*

          If we are all radical [redacted], will we all have multiple wives? and are these wives required to have nightly group sex with me?

          1. As many wives as you want and no upper or lower age limit. You can use them as you please since they are your property.

            1. *rubs chin, considers how awful multiple wives would be outside of sex*

              nevermind

              1. Dude, they are property. Just tell them to stand in the corner and shut up when you aren’t using them for sex. And if they get mouthy you can just let some friends rape them then set them, your wives not your friends, on fire for being unfaithful.

                1. Read Submission by Michel Houellebecq. Best case ever for becoming a Muslim.

        2. I’m pretty sure Muslims believe they’re coming back as a buddy cop thing.

  9. A study by RealClearPolitics’ David Byler further discovered that the polls in the last two cycles didn’t even really begin to get predictive until about two weeks after Thanksgiving. That would be six days from now.

    The Media’s still in politics-as-sports mode. When it gets close to an actual election, everyone will start to actually take sides.

    1. In Soviet Russia, sides take YOU!

  10. The assumption here I think is that after the GOP field narrows down a bit, Trump will be in more of a direct confrontation with a couple other front runners like The Rube and Mr. Haney, who will then…

    What?!? Accuse him of being a disingenuous pandering hack, whereupon he collapses into a whimpering fetal position?

    I think Trump has thrown a monkey wrench into this primary which cannot easily be dislodged.

    I guess we’ll find out in six days when the polls start to get “predictive.”

  11. I’m waiting for him to drop out of the race with something along the lines of “I was just kidding. Hillary in 2016!”

    1. Well he’s already pooped in the GOP pool. Completely sucked the life out of any chances Paul ever had. Even after signing the pledge to support the eventual Republican nominee, he’s now indicated that he will run as 3rd-Party if he pleases.

      There is one beneficiary of all this: The One Who Does Not Know How To Wipe

      1. Warty??

        *puzzled look*

        1. Think: Servers

          1. The Skqwerls?

            1. She looks like a fucking squirrel.

              1. No, no, no! It’s a dead WEASEL on her Snuke head!

                GET IT RIGHT

          2. IT’S A COOKBOOK!!!

            1. I don’t know whether to be pleased or horrified with myself that I keep understanding these references.

    2. It may be coming soon.

      He has just declared he will not participate in the upcoming CNN debate unless they pay him $5 million which he pledged to donate to the Wounded Warriors Project. He claims that he increases their ratings so much that they must pay him. Not that he might not debate. He declared he will not debate.

      So that isn’t going to happpen. CNN isn’t going to pay him to show up and they would probably like it if he didn’t.

      It is going to be interesting how this plays out.

      1. he already backed off that. said that it’s winning and he needs to keep winning by being there. also winning.

  12. San Bernardino attacker pledged allegiance to Islamic State leader, officials say

    that didn’t take long. and it wasn’t some NSA-level snoopery = she posted it on facebook.

    WaPo leaves out details other sources are reporting =

    “The post was apparently written on Facebook under a different name, according to CNN…
    Times reporter Rukmini Callimachi noted on Twitter that ISIS has “made clear that those wishing to act in its name need to swear allegiance”

    It was also only done ‘earlier this week’; WaPo never actually mentions ‘when’.

    and yes, everyone’s using Sayeed’s drivers license photo now.

    1. This is why we need to continue commen-sense NSA snooping, GILMORE. If only they could have collected meta data – which was just suspended recently, I heard, and they TOTES complied IMMEDIATELY….well, if they’d been able to put that Facebook post with a couple gas-station receipts and their Taco Bell drivethrough order – all this might have been avoided.

      Why do you want there to be more terrorist killings, GILMORE?

      1. it does sort of put the lie to the “total information transparency” attempts of the NSA

        They look under rocks for terrorists but miss the people standing on the hill waving the flag

        1. Minus the “sort of” part.

        2. +2 Tsarnaevs

        3. Or when the underwear bomber’s dad ratted him out, and Yemen said to watch out for this guy, but he still got to try and set his dick on fire at 35,000 feet.

    2. Hey hey hey, let’s wait until we have all of the facts first.

      1. NOW?

  13. Why panic? What’s the big deal? Are people afraid to find out that The Donald is the voice of America?

  14. Why would I “worry” about Trump when the runners up are Ben Batshit Carson, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio?

    They are all terrible in their own unique ways.

    1. There is only one true ALPHA in that grouping.

    2. In a debate between just those four it would be awesome to see Trump set a water bottle on top of his podium. Every time Rubio stumbles a little on a question Trump would offer him a drink.

      1. In a debate between just those four it would be awesome to see Trump set a water bottle on top of his podium.and set it on fire.

  15. Why panic ever? If there is a consensus here, it would be that Team Blue and Team Red are equally vile and corrupt statists, so it doesn’t matter who gets elected. We just bitch about what’s on offer and wait for the millennials to help elect a savior.

    Right?

    1. +1 Gary Johnson, Might As Well

    2. You miss the obvious choice:

      Vote Almanian for President – 2016
      I Probably Won’t Make It Any Worse

      1. Who was your running mate again?

        1. I haven’t decided.

          You busy for the next four years?

      2. You’ve got my vote.

      3. I am still leaning toward Trump over Almanian.

        1. You’re a tough nut to crack, Crusty. But I’ll have my henchmen….uh…supporters….keep working with you. You’ll see the light. Eventually.

          Trust me….

          1. Almanian 2016!
            See the light or see nothing ever again!

      4. Is it enough to scribble “Almanian” in the write-in blank or do we need your full name to make sure our votes aren’t split with another Almanian?

    3. wait for the millennials to help elect a savior.

      Wait, what? I was right with you ’till the end there. Seems to me that the point is that no politician will ever be a savior and the people who think one will ever be are dopes. The whole problem is people looking to politics to solve problems. Fuck saviors and fuck leaders.

      If we somehow end up with Trump vs. Hillary, I think there really will be no preferable choice.

      1. I hate to say it, but if I had to choose between Trump and Hillary, I’d choose Trump.

        1. Heck, I was glad in 2004 that Obama got the nomination instead of her.

          1. Oh yeah, I’d vote for Obama twice before I’d pull the lever for Hillary.

        2. Fortunately you don’t have to. I’m voting for Almanian.

      2. The case for voting libertarian is that repealing bad laws is the preferable choice. I recall when there was no election but prohibitionist christianofascists and goodthinkful communist looters. We had the draft, major war and bombings abroad, weathermen and bombings within, septic back alley abortions instead of individual rights for women… Ever since the looters began looking over their shoulders for libertarian spoiler votes, congress and their courts have struck down major idiotic laws and reduced the federal payroll and the federal share of GNP. Google: “How many federal employees are there?”

    4. No. Democrats are much worse. If Don Ernsberger found that out 20 yrs. ago, how badly could libertarians in gen’l disagree?

      1. Yes, but being a decent Cynic, I will not support the lesser of two evils.

        1. I’m going to support the laser of two evils.

  16. Would some one please tell me when it is time to panic? Much more useful that telling me every time it’s not time to panic. I don’t need an “everything’s OK” alarm.

    1. I find that panicking over things that are out of my control to be rather pointless.

      1. Isn’t panic always pointless outside of a situation where simply running away is the best option?

    2. I’m with you on this. And again, it would be nice to know WHICH hill we should die on. Everyone keeps telling me what hill I shouldn’t die on.

    3. And why panic? Trump may not be great, but I’ve no reason to believe he’d be a worse POTUS than the avg. person picked off the street, let alone panic-inducing bad.

  17. What were the odds on Obama’s in 2007?

  18. What kind of criterion is Google searches for a subject? All that tells you is the interest in a subject by persons who weren’t paying att’n (& therefore aren’t interested as much) as those who already knew.

    The Iowa caucus is soon & Trump is not only well ahead, but trending up, in the national polls. It’s unusual to have this clear a front runner not be the nominee. You have to go out of your way to make this much of a contest mentally. Trump kept breaking thru successive ceilings people saw in his support. As soon as Christie supporters see Christie as no longer viable, Trump’ll pick up most of them, since he’s the candidate most like Christie. From the others he may get less than proportionally, but should still be enough to gain a majority of delegates.

    1. All of his challengers are falling off. Carson’s now about where Cruz and Rubio are. Fiorina’s with Paul and Kasich. I think it gets interesting when Jeb!s handlers call it quits for him, and most of his votes head to Rubio.

      FWIW, in head to head polls, Rubio is among the best of the GOP candidates against either Hillary or Sanders. I’m not a fan, but it’s easy to see why prognosticators are.

      1. True. Pundits are usually much more interested in electability than the grass roots are. Not to say primary voters don’t take it into acc’t, in that they’ll reject someone who’s obviously unelectable, but they’re not going to make a big deal about +/- 5 points in electability, even though such a 10 pt. swing could easily be decisive.

        It matters a lot how delegates are chosen. Bigwigs in the party are going to concern themselves much more w electability than are casual primary voters, and especially more so than those voters who don’t have to enroll in the party in advance to vote in primaries.

  19. Yea, don’t panic. El Presidente has a year to evoke martial law. All he needs is a Paris style attack. Military training in certain urban areas for what reason? Militarization of police. Unfettered acceptance of mid east “immigrants (funny how this wife of the guy in San Bernadino was able to get in the country so quickly, doesn’t seem that she was vetted even though it’s now being reported she openly professed alliance with daesh on Facebook). Knowing that he cannot complete his gun grab they are going after ammo, “yes, you have a constitutional right to own guns but you don’t have a right to own ammo.” I’m not saying this will happen, however I won’t be surprised if it does.

    1. I’m going to take this about as seriously as I did when people were saying the same about Bush 8 years ago.

      1. It wasn’t serious enough to be taken seriously. However with that said, I wouldn’t be surprised if it did happen.

  20. “Terrorism” in this case is a euphemism for Religious War.

  21. I played poker in high school and volunteered on election campaigns, most of them libertarian, and so put a lot more stock in the actuarial methods and objective savvy of folks who are betting their own money on outcomes.

  22. I also don’t think he will be the nominee.

    Here is your problem, Steph. He is gaining in popularity. The newest poll now shows him with a 20 point lead. You use electionbettingodds.com. What is their history on predictions? I don’t think they have one. In fact, I think that may have been their first issue of percentages. They are using odds based from the UK. Europeans are so sure of American politics?

    So, I still don’t think he will win the nomination. However, I am less sure of that each and every week.

  23. Geez look at all the pant-crapping going on around here.

    Barring any of your preferred losers, errr, candidates, ever catching fire and winning *anything* [besides the Kentucky Senate seat or NM Governor’s house], Trump is the best hope for obliterating the status quo.

    And none of you are fans of the status quo*, are you?

    *-no, not the “Pictures of Matchstick Men” quo.

    1. The problem there is that it is entirely possible for the status quo to be replaced by something much, much worse.

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