Friday, March 2, 2012
Washington Caucus Tomorrow
03/01 PPP (D) -- Romney 37, Santorum 32, Paul 16, Gingrich 13
02/19 PPP (D) -- Santorum 38, Romney 27, Paul 15, Gingrich 12
That's not a lot to go on. PPP's track record isn't great, especially when it comes to polling caucuses. Recall that PPP gave Mitt Romney a 14-point lead in the Colorado Caucus just days before Rick Santorum took the state by 5. PPP's poll of the Minnesota Caucus was also wildly inaccurate.
Given the structure of the contest and given what happened in Maine, perhaps Paul ought to perform better than expected. As for the state itself, Washington should be Romney-friendly territory: It's a blue state, a Western state, and it has a decent-sized Mormon population. Although we can't get much useful information from the PPP polls, at least we can compare them to each other. Comparing the polls, Santorum had an 11-point lead and now trails by 5 points, a swing of 16. That fits with the overall movement nationally; Santorum's surge has subsided and Romney is on the rise again.
The shift in the poll from Santorum to Romney was not caused by campaigning, since neither candidate has campaigned there. If anything, Washington might be an interesting test of what happens when Romney doesn't use his money advantage to launch negative ads against his opponent.