Monday, March 10, 2014

This poll is made of straw

All presidential straw polls are stupid because they are not real polls (that is, they are not a valid sample of the electorate), but the CPAC straw poll is not only a dumb by its straw polledness, it also has a terrible predictive record. It has never successfully predicted the next President of the United States. Admittedly that is because CPAC started in 2006 and Republicans have not won a presidential election since then.

But it also has a pretty mixed record for even predicting the GOP nominee. In 2006, George Allen won the CPAC straw poll for the 2008 presidential election. Who the fuck is George Allen? Oh right, he's that macaca dude. The next two years (2007 and 2008, both directed at the 2008 election) went to Mitt Romney. Mittens, as you may recall, did not get the nomination in 2008. Indeed, he announced he was dropping out of the race during his CPAC speech, just after he won the straw poll predicting that he would be the nominee. Romney won the poll again in 2009 and 2012, the only times that the poll actually indicated who the next GOP presidential nominee would be. In 2010 and 2011, Ron Paul won.

This year, Rand Paul got it. Which I calculate gives him +0 on his chances of becoming president. I guess a win in the CPAC poll gets a candidate a headline. But it's not like Rand Paul had any problem getting them before.