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Leading the Polls Now? That’s No Indicator of Who Will Win the Primary


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Leading the Polls Now? That’s No Indicator of Who Will Win the Primary

https://www.wsj.com/articles/leading-the-polls-now-thats-no-indicator-of-who-will-win-the-primary-11572617880?mod=hp_lead_pos5

Former Vice President Joe Biden has been leading the polls in the 2020 Democratic primary.


Photo:

Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

Leading in the polls a year before the general election isn’t a good indicator of success. Only one time in a competitive primary since 2004 has The Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll leader gone on to win their party’s nomination:

Mitt Romney

in 2012.

In fact, many of the front-runners a year out have gone on to primary obscurity. In 2015, for example,

Ben Carson

was leading the eventual Republican nominee,

Donald Trump,

by six percentage points in late October—only to barely register at the ballot box, receiving less than half a percentage point of primary votes.

Here is a look at every competitive primary’s polling and results since 2004:

Polling leader one year from general election

Real Clear Politics

polling average

Oct. 18–30, 2019

WSJ/NBC

News poll

Oct. 25-29, 2015

Percentage

of all 2016 primary votes

WSJ/NBC

News poll

Nov. 2–5, 2011

Percentage

of all 2012 primary votes

WSJ/NBC

News poll

Nov. 1–5, 2007

Percentage

of all 2008 primary votes*

WSJ/NBC

News poll

Nov. 1–5, 2007

Percentage

of all 2008 primary votes

WSJ/NBC News poll

Nov. 8-10, 2003

Percentage

of all 2004 primary votes

Polling leader one year from general election

Real Clear Politics polling average

Oct. 18–30, 2019

WSJ/NBC

News poll

Oct. 25-29, 2015

Percentage

of all 2016 primary votes

WSJ/NBC

News poll

Nov. 2–5, 2011

Percentage

of all 2012 primary votes

WSJ/NBC

News poll

Nov. 1–5, 2007

Percentage

of all 2008 primary votes*

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WSJ/NBC

News poll

Nov. 1–5, 2007

Percentage

of all 2008 primary votes

WSJ/NBC News poll

Nov. 8-10, 2003

Percentage

of all 2004 primary votes

Polling leader one year from general election

Real Clear Politics polling average

Oct. 18–30, 2019

WSJ/NBC News poll

Oct. 25-29, 2015

Percentage of all 2016 primary votes

WSJ/NBC News poll

Nov. 2–5, 2011

Percentage of all 2012 primary votes

WSJ/NBC News poll

Nov. 1–5, 2007

Percentage of all 2008 primary votes*

WSJ/NBC News poll

Nov. 1–5, 2007

Percentage of all 2008 primary votes

WSJ/NBC News poll

Nov. 8-10, 2003

Percentage of all 2004 primary votes

Polling leader one year from general election

Real Clear Politics

polling average

Oct. 18–30, 2019

WSJ/NBC

News poll

Oct. 25-29, 2015

Percentage

of all 2016 primary votes

WSJ/NBC

News poll

Nov. 2–5, 2011

Percentage

of all 2012 primary votes

WSJ/NBC

News poll

Nov. 1–5, 2007

Percentage

of all 2008 primary votes*

WSJ/NBC

News poll

Nov. 1–5, 2007

Percentage

of all 2008 primary votes

WSJ/NBC News poll

Nov. 8-10, 2003

Percentage

of all 2004 primary votes

Election 2020: One Year Out

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