GOP Race Remains Fractured, Tea Party Supporters Divided


Home / GOP Race Remains Fractured, Tea Party Supporters Divided

Can Romney maintain his lead through another Gingrich surge? Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

A CBS/ New York Times poll released Wednesday indicates that four GOP candidates are within  thirteen points of one another as they campaign for the Republican presidential nomination. Mitt Romney is in the lead, with 28 percent of adult Republican primary voters polled who planned to vote in their state’s primary selecting him as their preferred nominee. Romney is followed by Newt Gingrich with 21 percent, Rick Santorum with 16 percent, and Ron Paul with 15 percent.  CBS reports that voters who identify with the Tea Party movement are similarly divided, with 29 percent supporting Romney, 28 percent supporting Gingrich, 18 percent supporting Santorum, and 12 percent supporting Paul. Polling also indicates a jump in approval for President Barack Obama among a general sample of adults, with 47 percent approving and 45 percent disapproving.

CBS/NYT Polling Methodology

The CBS/NYT poll was conducted between January 12 and January 17. The sample consisted of 1154 adults, who were asked general questions. Some questions were directed to sub-groups within the general sample, including 1021 registered voters, 340 self-identified likely Republican primary voters, 367 likely Democratic primary voters, and 302 registered Republicans. Respondents were contacted via live phone interviews to landlines and cell phones.  Results were weighted for demographics and multiple adults in households. Margins of error ranged between +/-3 to +/-5, depending on the size of the sub-group. CBS/NYT polling practices comply with the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

Possible Flaws with Tea Party Identification

Although data regarding candidate preferences of Tea Party supporters versus non Tea Party supporters is reported along with general poll results by CBS, the polling data released by the New York Times does not indicate there were any sub-groups consisting of Tea Party supporters, or that any questions were asked to identify Tea Party supporters, besides one in which general voters were asked whether they considered themselves members of the Tea Party, and another in which general voters were asked whether they supported the Tea Party. Although 23 percent of the sample identified with the Tea Party, the polling data does not make clear whether these respondents’ answers were further analyzed to reach numbers regarding Tea Party support for the candidates, or whether data was used from some other source.

Click to Read Page Two: Was There Sampling Error in This Poll?

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