Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Jeb, Rubio tapping into different bases of support


It turns out that, so far, each potential candidate in the 2016 GOP race is appealing to exactly the constituency that theory suggests.

Here's a look at the four, most recent 2016 polls of the GOP race from Public Policy Polling, and where candidates pull the strongest share of their own vote.

Does Jeb Bush get a higher percentage of his support from liberal, moderate, or conservative Republicans?And where does Marco Rubio get his highest percentage of his support?

In other words, which ideological groups are fueling these candidates' support?

After looking at the surveys, a few interesting things emerge.

a. Marco Rubio wins his highest share of the vote from those calling themselves "very conservative" or "somewhat conservative."

He wins a much lower proportion of those calling themselves moderate-liberal.

Once again, this establishes Rubio as a conservative favorite, and also shows just how much he has to lose if he loses on immigration reform.

b. Jeb Bush and Rubio are tapping into completely different constituencies.

In all four polls, Jeb's strongest support came from those Republicans calling themselves moderate-liberal, while Rubio's strongest support came among those calling themselves somewhat or very conservative.

Thus, each is getting his support from different factions in the GOP.

In fact, Jeb consistently puts up his weakest numbers in the "very conservative" bracket which is Rubio's strongest.

c. Paul Ryan appeals to conservatives, but his largest group of supporters tends to be in the "somewhat conservative" camp.

d. Chris Christie takes, by far, his largest share of the vote among moderate-liberals and smallest from those calling themselves "very conservative."

In fact, the numbers are astounding. Christie routinely scores eight to nine times better among moderate Republicans than among those calling themselves "very conservative".

e. Rand Paul, interestingly, usually takes his strongest support from the "very conservative" and "liberal" camp. My guess is that voters are assuming he's just like his dad, and as such, he's picking up the Paul coalition of voters which is an odd assortment of self-described conservatives, libertarians, and liberal Republicans.

Overall: It's sometimes perilous to take too much from subsamples, but these results at least suggest that the contours of the race are falling along predictable lines.

And, once again, Jeb's alleged popularity with grassroots conservatives remains largely a myth.

Here are the surveys.

1. PPP's 2016 survey of National Republicans (January 2013):

a. Jeb Bush scores his largest share of the vote from those calling themselves "somewhat liberal" and "very liberal."

His weakest groups? Those calling themselves "very conservative" and "conservative."

b. Chris Christie scores his largest share of the vote from those calling themselves "somewhat liberal" and "moderate."

In fact, self-described moderates are eight times more likely to support Christie than self-described "very conservative" voters.

c. Rand Paul scores his largest share of the vote from those calling themselves "very conservative" and "very liberal."

d. Marco Rubio scores his largest share of the vote from those calling themselves "very conservative" and "conservative."

e. Paul Ryan also scores his largest share of the vote from those calling themselves "very conservative" and "somewhat conservative."

2. PPP's 2016 survey of Texas (January 2013)

a. Jeb Bush scores his highest share of the vote from those calling themselves "moderate" and "somewhat liberal", which supports the idea that he's not nearly as beloved by conservatives as often claimed.

b. Marco Rubio scores his highest share of the vote from those calling themselves "very conservative" and "somewhat conservative."

c. Chris Christie scores his highest share of the vote from those calling themselves "moderate" and "somewhat liberal."

Self-described moderates are over nine times likelier to support him than those calling themselves "very conservative"!

d. Bobby Jindal scores his highest share of the vote from those calling themselves "moderate", although he scores so poorly, overall, (4%) that it's hard to draw too much from deeper breakdowns of the number.

e. Rand Paul scores his highest share of the vote from those calling themselves "very conservative" and "somewhat liberal."

f. Paul Ryan scores his highest share of the vote from those calling themselves "somewhat conservative."

3. PPP's 2016 survey of Florida (January 2013):

a. Jeb scores his highest share of the vote from those calling themselves "somewhat conservative", "somewhat liberal" and "very liberal." Once again, his lowest share comes from those calling themselves "very conservative."

b  Chris Christie scores his largest share of the vote from those calling themselves "moderate" or "somewhat liberal."

In fact, only 1% of those who consider themselves "very conservative" said they'd back Christie!

c. Bobby Jindal scores his highest share of the vote from those calling themselves "moderate." He's split nearly evenly among the rest of the ideologies.

d. Rand Paul is also split among the ideologies, although he's slightly more likely to win support from those calling themselves "very conservative" than from any other group.

e. Marco Rubio scores his largest share of the vote from those calling themselves "very conservative" and "somewhat conservative" -- once again showing that his base of support is much more conservative than Jeb or Christie's.

f. Paul Ryan scores his largest share of the vote from those calling themselves "very conservative."

4. PPP survey of National Republicans (December 2012):

a. Jeb Bush scores his highest share of the vote from those calling themselves "moderate" and "somewhat liberal."

His lowest share? "Very conservative."

b. Chris Christie scores his highest share of the vote from those calling themselves "moderate" and "somewhat liberal."

Lowest? "Very conservative." He was over nine times likelier to win those calling themselves "moderate" than those calling themselves "very conservative."

c. Rand Paul is fairly split across the Republican spectrum.

d. Condi Rice scores her highest share of the vote from those calling themselves "somewhat" or "very" liberal.

e. Marco Rubio scores  his highest share of the vote from those calling themselves "very" or somewhat conservative."

f. Paul Ryan scores his highest share of the vote from those calling themselves "very conservative" and "very liberal.'